HomeMain StoriesIn display of impunity, CMI abducts and tortures Rwandan UN staff

In display of impunity, CMI abducts and tortures Rwandan UN staff

By Jackson Mutabazi

Brig Gen Abel Kandiho, head of CMI.

Following the abductions of two Rwandan UN employees by Ugandan security operatives, the world body has decided to avoid transporting any of its Rwandan personnel through Uganda.

The organization has decided not even equipment owned by Rwanda is to be transported through Uganda, even if it is for use by the UN.

In a leaked letter which this website saw, the UN says it has decided, “as a precautionary measure to avoid any transport of Rwandan troops, police or civilians, as well as transport of equipment owned by Rwanda through Uganda. This includes also the participation of any Rwandan civilian or uniformed personnel in training activities in Uganda, in particular the regional service centre in Entebbe.”

The letter adds that travel and equipment transportation related to Rwanda will be undertaken by other routes.

According to analysts the implications of the UN stance basically is that Uganda is a country that does not abide by, and it is not to be trusted to uphold, the law. That happened after an incident that has become all too common in the current climate of Ugandan hostility towards Rwanda, and Rwandan nationals.

Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, CMI, on the thirteenth last month abducted Bihoyiki Francis, a staff member of the UN at Kyaka Refugee Camp. Then a few days later, on twenty-sixth, they abducted Musinga Antoine another staff member of the world body, based at Entebbe.

CMI in its usual behavior as state-sanctioned kidnappers just accosted the two Rwandans, regardless what their identities said as employees of a world body, and dragged them away. They did not produce arrest warrants or follow other legal procedures. Later it was discovered that CMI was accusing the two Rwandans of “spying for Rwanda”.

Time and again Kampala security agencies have victimized innocent Rwandans on concocted charges. They never show proof to back their allegations. It amounts to harassment of an entire nationality, for no other reason that Museveni has chosen to pick a quarrel with Rwanda. Bihoyiki and Musinga found themselves facing the same terror as so many Rwandans who have fallen into the hands of CMI.

The two, on separate occasions, were surrounded by men that forced them into a vehicle. Once inside, the CMI men usually slap a hood over their victim so that he or she can’t see where they are going. Very many Rwandans – Damascene Muhawenimana, Roger Donne Kayibanda, Jean Mucyo, Moses Ishimwe Rutare and many others – have described the inhuman torture in CMI dungeons.

One of the first things CMI operatives do upon abducting someone is to go through their pockets or bags. They steal any money they find. They then grab a victim’s phone and order him or her to give them the pin code. They make transactions to empty the phone of all their victim’s money. At CMI headquarters the newly arrived abductees are dumped into a corridor. After a few hours they are taken upstairs for “interrogation.”

Such interrogation most times is conducted by men that speak fluent Kinyarwanda. Some people tend to think that when Kigali says Uganda is working with Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC to destabilize Rwanda, it is “just politics”. Sadly for them it is only when they are being tortured by people that speak the same Kinyarwanda as them that they realize the truth of what Kigali has been saying all the time.

The torture broadly is aimed at achieving two things: to find out any information a victim might have about Rwanda’s security services – the military and the police. Secondly it is to try to forcefully recruit fighters for RNC. The method is to inflict so much pain on someone that he agrees to join, just to save himself from further agony.

That is what CMI did to the two Rwandan UN staff. The lawlessness of Uganda’s security agencies has reached a point whereby abduction of employees of international bodies means nothing to them. That is where their impunity has led them. Observers now are asking what else needs to happen for the UN to take action against Uganda.

The UN itself, through the UN group of Experts on DRC published a damning report last year, December 31, on the recruitment activities of the so called “P5” umbrella group of anti-Rwanda rebel forces based in eastern DRC. It was clear that Kampala was one of the main recruiters for P5, whose dominant partners are the terrorist RNC, and the genocidal FDLR.

Yet to the surprise of most, the UN has not sanctioned Uganda in any way. “It is as if the UN is merely a passive observer that will watch all kinds of rogue behavior and do nothing; it needs to do better!” said a Kigali-based security analyst that preferred anonymity.

“Now Ugandan operatives have began abducting and torturing even UN staff; let’s wait to see what it (UN) will do,” he commented.

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