Rwanda, Kagame said has been begging Uganda and will continue to beg for the latter’s support in trying to silence dissidents. Kagame spoke about several meetings he has had with Museveni discussing the matter. In person, Kagame said he has begged Museveni to deal with the matter.
President, Paul Kagame has once again accused Uganda of hosting and aiding
dissidents plotting to destabilize his country.
According to Kagame, Uganda has
refused to take action against dissidents, even when presented with concrete
he said has been snowballing for the last two decades.
The Rwandan leader spoke
about Uganda-Rwanda relationship at length while opening the 16th National
Leadership Retreat at Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) Combat Training Center in
Gabiro, Eastern Province.
which is likely to fuel simmering tensions between the two countries, reinforces
the narrative presented by his senior government officials in the past weeks.
Rwanda closed its common border with Uganda, Gatuna at the
end of February. The country strongly
advised Rwandan nationals to desist from crossing into Uganda, saying it can’t
On Saturday, Kagame
reiterated that Uganda is not safe for Rwandans, apart from those plotting to destabilize
“You can only be safe in Uganda if you are against Rwanda, that’s
the only way they will welcome you. I have come to accept that we advise
Rwandans not to go Uganda. But we don’t stop other people from coming here and
we don’t touch them,” he said.
Presenting a historical perspective of the problem, Kagame
referred to a former Rwandan Interior Minister—turned dissident—Seth Sendashonga
who was assassinated in Nairobi in 1998.
The assassination remains a mystery. Kagame said
Sendashonga had been meeting Ugandan army generals who promised support as he
intensified rebel recruitment.
“My reason for
pointing out this is to show the cycle things that have been happening for the
last 20 years, where while we are meeting here trying to see how we can resolve
and move, there is somebody else somewhere saying we will not allow you,” he
Rwanda, he said
has been begging Uganda and will continue to beg for the latter’s support in
trying to silence dissidents. Kagame spoke about several meetings he has had
with President, Yoweri Museveni to discuss the matter. In person, Kagame said
he has begged Museveni to deal with the matter.
Kagame further said Rwanda has requested Uganda to cut off
ties with Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, a Rwandan running several enterprises in
Uganda. Rujugiro is the proprietor of Meridian Tobacco Company, a $20 million
(Shs 72 billion) business which opened in the West Nile town of Arua last year.
Rujugiro is bankrolling Rwandan dissidents. Kagame said Museveni one time told
him that he doesn’t know Rujugiro. But he proved to Museveni that he knows him.
Then Museveni argued that Rwandans don’t differentiate between politics and
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In another meeting, Kagame said he asked Museveni if there
was a problem that Rwanda needed to address before Uganda takes action on
“serious” challenges they were presenting. Kagame said there was “nothing” from
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Kagame also referred to frank discussions that have been held
by senior government official of the two countries—foreign affairs ministers
and army generals—in which Rwanda made its case.
In all the
discussions, Rwanda pleas, Kagame said have been that Uganda should help in
dealing with the problem.
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Rwanda dissidents’ groups
National Congress (RNC) is political
group that Kigali has branded as rebels. It is linked to former Rwanda military
chief, Kayumba Nyamwasa who is currently living in exile in South Africa.
Group: is a coalition of Rwandan opposition political
organisations including the Amahoro People's Congress (AMAHORO-PC), the Forces
démocratiques unifées-Inkingi (FDU INKINGI), the People's Defence Pact-Imanzi
(PDP-IMANZI), the Social Party-Imberakuri (PS IMBERAKURI) and the Rwanda
National Congress (RNC). The leaders of these groups are living in exile.
The UN Security
Council in December said P5 had started recruiting combatants in South Kivu
with local and external support from Burundi, Uganda and Democratic Republic of