Rwanda-Uganda relations: An informed analysis

I have read extensively lots of views by various commentators on the above rather important and serious issue with interest and discernment, as a party that claim informed understanding of issues that have characterised Rwanda-Uganda relations since 1997.

Issues as will be argued later that will need to be addressed by Ugandan political elite instead of window dressing which only serves to postpone the solutions at the expense socio-economic welfare of two sister countries and a people that are bound by history, blood relations, and location that defines their fate and thus destiny for generations to come.

This bond cannot be discounted, underwritten, nor demeaned by political machinations for this is very expensive to both countries and should thus be avoided and ironed out as and when these arises.

Trended!

Destabilisation of Rwanda by Ugandan top political elite is as trended as it is an ill intended strategy that in my opinion has only served to destroy, beyond repair, the best ever strategic alliance that had immense economic as well socio-political benefits to both countries, at least during the current political leadership.

For instance, Ugandan leadership has extended to Rwanda National Congress (RNC) – a terrorist group that has killed dozens and maimed hundreds of Rwandans; has publicly agitated its intentions to remove a democratically elected government in Rwanda – which in itself is a myopic illusion at its extreme and worst.

President Museveni’s meetings with RNC top diplomats; Charlotte Mukankusi and Eugene Gasana in the first week of March 2019  and meetings Museveni later said was accidental (no accidental meetings with Presidents happen anywhere in the world), speaks volumes of Uganda’s intention to destabilize Rwanda.

It’s an intention that is not a political day-dream, but one that has served to corroborate other past ill motives against the Rwandan government and Rwandans in general.

As will be argued later, support to Force Democratique de liberation du Rwanda (FDLR), a genocidal outfit in east Democratic Republic of Congo against Rwanda, has left many Rwandans dumbfounded with regard to intentions of the Ugandan ruling elite, given that this terrorist outfit claimed the lives of over one million of our compatriots in 1994, has left an indelible scar on our conscious as a country and a people that anyone, party or country that supports or is even sympathetic with It, earns eternal wrath of Rwandans.

However, support of destabilizing forces by Uganda’s ruling elite is not a new phenomenon. What is new though is the form as well as substance this support has taken of late.

As way back as 1997/98, support for such negative elements by Uganda to Major Furuma, Sebarenzi, Sendashonga, Brig Gen (BEM) Habyarimana, etc is irrefutable.

Issuing of Ugandan passports to FDLR leaders like Ignace Murwanashyaka, Nsengiyumva Hyacinth Rafiki, Wallace Nsengiyumva, and Maj Protais Mpiranya, an international wanted genocide criminal, in 2006 to travel to Europe and in the region to conduct their subversive activities against Rwanda shocked many in Rwanda then, but no more.

Facilitation by Uganda given to Col Patrick Karegeya in 2007 and then to Kayumba Nyamwasa in 2010 when they were going into self-exile is in the know of Rwandans and is trended to earlier subversive activities by Ugandan political elites.

As will be pointed out later, some of these so called ''dissidents'' had the blessings of, and are in fact a machination of Ugandan ruling elite in their ill-conceived strategic project of destabilising Rwanda, that has fortunately not succeeded nor ever will, for any such move is known before it is implemented.

The headache with the Ugandan ruling elite is why Rwandans get to know of such destabilization in real time, instead of the same being bothered as to why this should be done to a potential ally and a sister country. Reasons behind this unfortunate trend will be highlighted in subsequent articles.  

Unprecedented:

Nonetheless, this trend has reached unprecedented scale of late with dire consequences to the relationship between Rwanda and Uganda. Ugandan political elite have arranged and or organize destabilizing forces RNC, FDLR, etc into the so called P5 located in DRC so as to destabilize Rwanda.

It is a project that is dead in the water, for Rwanda has more than the capacity to deal with these elements despite what the Ugandan political elite would have been told to the contrary by their RNC allies.

As pointed out earlier, that Uganda can mobilize FDLR with their genocide ideology of extermination of Tutsis in Rwanda, an ideology akin to that of ISIS is beyond comprehension whatever differences there may be between Rwanda and Uganda.

That any country, least Uganda, which should understand this better, can support this group (s) has baffled many Rwandans.

Rwanda has in custody LaForge Fils Bazeye, who was the Spokesperson of FDLR and Lt Col Theophile Abega, who was FDLR Head of Intelligence, who were arrested by the FARDC, Army of the Democratic Republic of Congo on 17th December 2018.

They were arrested at DRC-Uganda Bunagana Border on their way from Kampala, where on December 15, 2018 they had held talks with RNC aimed at destabilizing Rwanda’s security. The FDLR leaders were facilitated by Dr Philemon Mateke, Uganda's Minister for Regional Cooperation, that also chaired the FDR-RNC meeting in Kampala.

These genocidal elements carried with them lots of information on mobilization of these and others against the government of Rwanda. Rwanda has more detailed information from these FDLR leaders, regarding Uganda's role and plans in support to these armed groups operating in the Kivus to destabilise the region.

This is also true as regards a wealth of information that Rwanda has from multiple sources on activities of RNC leaders and operatives who have accepted to join hands with FDLR at the leadership of Uganda.

These developments come at a time when available information is collaborated by The UN Group of Experts Report published on December 31 2018.  This is the latest factual indictment of the Museveni regime for its anti-Rwanda activities.

The report details Uganda as a recruitment hub for groups that have declared war on Rwanda’s legitimate government. Denying this by the Ugandan ruling elite, or even by President Museveni himself; “There is no question of Uganda supporting anti-Rwanda elements.” … does not and cannot negate the enormity of this unprecedented situation and on the contrary, reinforces its magnitude and consequences.

Obote II antics

For the last two years, the Museveni regime has conducted brutal abductions, arrests, detention, and torture of over 1000 innocent Rwandan civilians. Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and other Ugandan intelligence services continue to conduct these barbaric crimes against innocent Rwandans akin to what happened to Rwandans in Uganda, some of whom were Ugandans, during the Obote II regime, accused of supporting Museveni.

They paid a high price, including undocumented murders. Some of us who lived in Uganda at that time have indelible memories of the same. And although this mobilized young Rwandan fighters to join the NRA (National Resistance Army now UPDF) in large numbers, and as will be argued later, contributed fundamentally to President Museveni’s eventual rise to power in 1985, no Rwandese would have least imagined or expected that this would happen under President Museveni’s regime, a regime that was supposed to stop Obote II torture and murder of real and imaginary “enemies’ of his regime.

That this can now happen under the same President to whom these Rwandans were accused of supporting have left many Rwandans perplexed. 

Worse still, it is done with, and in cohort with RNC renegades who pick out innocent Rwandans for abduction by Ugandan intelligence tells it all. An alliance with a dissident force for intelligence gathering on a neighbouring country is a situation so bizarre and with far-reaching consequences.

Testimonies and evidence of these heinous crimes against Rwandans in Uganda abound despite the fact that Ugandans living in Rwanda live in peace and harmony alongside their Rwandan brothers and sisters which is expected for we are bound by fate and destiny that no political system can undo by any means or deed whatsoever.

To be continued…

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