On his way from the Gatuna quadripartite summit last week, President Yoweri Museveni made several stops including in Kabale where he addressed small crowds. He told them the border closure was a result of an internal conflict within the RPF that had some of them flee from Rwanda. “The origin of the problem is that these people we helped when they had problems and once they returned home they started to have divisions within themselves,” Museveni said, admitting for the first time that he had taken sides in what he calls Rwanda’s internal divisions.
While admitting to meddling in Rwandan affairs, Museveni doesn’t say why the side he had supported in that “division” chose to flee to Uganda as a safe haven: It is him who had sowed said divisions; he actively recruited those who fled into exile to do the kinds of things that eventually resulted in the border being “closed”. So, Museveni is right that the border is closed because of his courting of RPF people into dissidence, then helping them create a terror organisation.
Museveni’s view is that the dissidents-turned-terrorists are on the other side of the border where they are abducting Rwandans randomly in a desperate attempt to identify suspected spies. This, in fact, justifies the border closure.
But Museveni has not only sided with dissidents-turned-terrorists; he also openly admits to supporting the FDLR, the non-repentant killers whose avowed mission is to return to power and complete “the job” of eliminating a section of the Rwandan population that survived their 1994 killings that claimed more than a million lives.
To demonstrate his commitment to this “cause”, Museveni has in effect created a ministerial position to coordinate affairs of the FDLR and their breakaway factions RUD Urunana and MRCD-FLN (the latter also including some RNC dissidents). For all intents and purposes, his minister for regional affairs might as well be named “the Minister for FDLR Support”. In that position, Museveni recruited 87-year-old Philemon Mateke, due to his very close ties to the MRND, the party that presided over the genocide against the Tutsi and the direct ancestor of the FDLR. Rwanda-born Mateke is an unabashed Parmehutu and Hutu Power nostalgic.
On December 14-15, 2018 Philemon Mateke called a coordination meeting between the RNC and the FDLR in Kampala. The meeting took place at Serena Hotel. According to the senior FDLR representatives who were captured as they returned from that meeting and re-entered the DRC and were then repatriated to Kigali, Mateke had told them that he had a “special message” from President Museveni on whose behalf he had called the meeting. Col Jean Pierre Nsekanabo aka Theophile Abega, the then FDLR head of FDLR military intelligence, and Ignace Nkaka, better known as LaForge Fils Bazeye, its Commissioner for Information and spokesperson, revealed that Museveni had urged the two forces to unite their efforts to give the impression of a common multi-ethnic front against the RPF. Most importantly, Museveni had offered to step up his support, with the most urgent mission to blow up Rwanda’s key infrastructure and to resume terror attacks on busy intersections such as bus parks and public markets in order to sow fear in the population. Without question, this makes Museveni’s Uganda a state sponsor of terrorism with a genocidal goal, given the openly declared intentions of the FDLR and its breakaway factions to complete the extermination of Rwanda’s Tutsi, a goal which the 1994 RPF victory over the ex-FAR and Interahamwe interrupted.
The FDLR, with a sworn mission to eliminate Tutsis, was reluctant to cooperate with Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC. Mateke reassured them that having worked closely with the architects of the genocide, he was someone they should trust. Indeed, in the 1970s Mateke had organised pogroms against Tutsi students at Mutolere in Bufumbira.
Similarly, between 2010 and 2014, RNC operatives launched grenade attacks in bus parks and markets in Rwanda where 14 innocent people were killed and more than 400 injured.
The RNC and FDLR share this method of indiscriminate violence. These are the lot Museveni has decided to throw his weight behind in what he thinks is an act of supporting one side of his supposed RPF “internal conflict”. His hatred of the RPF has him mistakenly believing there is a side in Rwanda that supports indiscriminate murder of innocent people, the way the RNC and FDLR have done, and continue to want to do. This is a cause Museveni now fully shares with his proxy terrorist and genocidal groups.
Captured RNC and FDLR fighters repatriated to Rwanda from the DRC and who are now either on trial in courts of law or in the Mutobo Demobilisation and Reintegration centre have recounted their experience in Uganda under the facilitation of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) before they were transported to bases in DRC jungles.
Museveni’s speech in Kabale was uncharacteristic in its confession that he had supported the criminal side of the RPF’s internal divisions, the fugitives who formed the RNC with his support. Before this confession, Museveni had persisted in his stubborn refusal to admit that he supports Kayumba Nyamwasa. Yet, he openly supports the FDLR and has created a ministry for it. It is almost as if for him supporting genocidaires is less damaging to his image than supporting terrorists.