By Alex Muhumuza
The main propaganda organ of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Chimpreports, has generated a fake news article about a supposed M23 “attack on Congolese military positions”. Writing yesterday, 22 Wednesday, on an attack that Kinshasa has said nothing about, Chimpreports – a website under the control of CMI Deputy Director in Charge of Counterrorism Brig. CK Asiimwe – insinuates “Rwandan involvement.”
“Suspected March 23 Movement (M23) rebels have attacked positions of DR Congo army (FARDC), a move observers say could ignite a protracted conflict in the volatile eastern part of the mineral rich country,” the article begins. According to the website, the attack is supposed to have taken place Tuesday, this week in the Rutshuru territory of North Kivu.
The article then mentions a supposed meeting between the DRC president and his army chiefs. This is followed by a fictitious claim designed to fit an anti-Kigali narrative constantly peddled by Kampala.
“The development (attack) comes two weeks after President Felix Tshisekedi chaired a meeting with the top leadership of the army (FARDC) and leaders of each defense zone, and informed of a serious rebellion brewing in the highlands of Fizi and Mwenga territories in South Kivu Province,” Chimp says. “The rebellion against Banyamulenge is reportedly backed by Rwanda, which denies the claim.”
“So, if Rwanda denies it, why bring it up in such a context?” asked a Kigali-based commentator on security matters. “The fact is, Kampala and its propagandist know indeed Rwanda backs no rebellions. But any day that passes without some Kampala outlet of misinformation smearing Kigali is a wasted day for them,” he added.
But let’s say that in DRC – where in fact it is Kampala backing several illegal armed groups, leave alone the false claims against Rwanda – illegal armed groups are getting badly thumped militarily. An undisputed fact is that the majority of them either are direct proxies of Kampala such as (Kayumba) Nyamwasa’s RNC, or are Kampala’s partners in years’ old plots to destabilize Rwanda, i.e. FDLR or RUD-Urunana.
“So, what do you expect Uganda’s propagandists to do as their proxies are getting so badly clobbered?” laughed our source.
One thing that they have to do is to constantly mudsling Rwanda, partly as one of the many desperate attempts to dredge negative feelings against Kigali – especially in a context where neighbors (DRC and Rwanda) finally are delivering on peaceful co-existence between their two societies.
In such a situation, “even if someone just gets drunk in DRC and shoots in the air, you can be one hundred percent sure Chimpreports will write that this person is backed by Rwanda!” remarked our source, laughing.
Further down in Chimpreports’ article, it brings up rebel battles of seven years ago in Congo.
The facts of the M23 rebellion show that it came about because former president Joseph Kabila had issues fulfilling promises made to members of political, or military groups in eastern Congo following a power-sharing, peace agreement. Armed members of these communities then formed themselves into the M23 Movement, and rose to confront Kabila when promises made to them went unfulfilled.
“This was a purely Congolese fight between Sultani Makenga and his group against Kabila, and it ended long ago,” pointed out another security analyst. “But of course you can count on Kampala, seven years later, to resurrect the lie that ‘Makenga’s group has been armed and trained by Rwanda’ – something they do in the same article that alleges M23 is attacking FARDC positions!”
Kampala’s problem is that however much fictions it spins about Rwanda, it has long been exposed as the real backer of groups that are the biggest factors of regional instability.
A new report released on 15 this month by the International Crisis Group for instance shows that Uganda “is a key player fueling the upsurge of violence in the Ituri Province in the north east of DRC.” The report states in part: “Uganda has played a big role in fueling the Ituri Region violence through different means, including hosting those that are commanding the conflict.”
Well as Ugandan propagandist allegations always are backed with nothing but their rumors, Kampala is the one that gets implicated, with documented proof, and by international, impartial reports.