The Uganda People’s Defence Force [UPDF] continues to assert that Rwanda has increased troops along its border with Uganda and has called for calm among the residents of Kabale District.
The Daily Monitor of Uganda of 28 June 2010 carried two separate stories, “Rwanda Increases Troops at the Border” and “UPDF calls for Calm as Rwanda Deploys on Border.”
While this is not true, and the RDF has not changed her deployments in the Northern Sector for quite some time, one wonders why the UPDF should get so concerned.
Rwanda has the right to deploy and employ her troops anywhere on the Rwandan territory in a manner that she deems appropriate. The area that UPDF cited is on the Rwandan territory and the RDF can and shall do anything it pleases in exercising its constitutional responsibility.
While the poor residents along the border can misinterpret military deployments, surely the Ugandan military should use and rely on its intelligence instead of scaring Ugandans by indicating that the UPDF does not know the motive of the deployment.
According to the same Daily Monitor, the UPDF Spokesman “Lt Col Kulayigye admitted that he does not know why Rwandan troops have been deployed on the border”.
The calming of Wanannchi is also a hoax. There have been times when UPDF changed its deployments near the Uganda – Rwanda border but the RDF never called for calm.
Why would the people be scared when they have full trust and confidence into their Defence Force?
As neighbor, and more so as Partner States of the East African Community, there are clear channels and avenues through which both countries’ Defence Forces can exchange and share information. Ironically, Kulaigye in the same paper describes the relationship between Rwanda and Uganda as being cordial.
One therefore wonders why the UPDF cannot use the available channels instead of rushing to the media. It is not fraternal for the UPDF to voice such unfounded allegations unless they have other motives.
The author is the Defence and Military Spokesman