By Jackson Mutabazi
In what is already being seen as a lame attempt by Kampala to disassociate itself from Rwandan terrorist mastermind Callixte Nsabimana “Sankara”, the New Vision newspaper has published an article saying Uganda “has dismissed claims by Nsabimana that his rebel group was collaborating with its military against a neighbour.”
The paper in its issue of today Saturday 25 May 2019 – which was already on the streets by Friday evening – quoted State Minister for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem calling “rubbish” what Callixte Nsabimana confessed about his associations with Uganda and its military intelligence.
In his first court appearance in Kigali, Nsabimana confessed that his rebel group, FLN, carried out terror attacks and murder in Rwanda with support from the Ugandan military and Burundi’s intelligence services.
Oryem did not point out what it was that the rebel leader – recently apprehended in the Comoros on a Rwandan issued international arrest warrant and repatriated to Kigali – said that was not true. The New Vision wrote that it also contacted Brig. Richard Karemire the Uganda Army Spokesperson.
Karemire too had nothing to comment about Nsabimana’s confessions, which unequivocally implicate Uganda in activities to sow instability in Rwanda.
Terror suspect Nsabimana – who also has been doubling as FLN’s spokesperson – on Thursday appeared before the Gasabo Primary Court and pleaded guilty to each and every one of the 16 charges that Prosecution brought against him. He divulged details among other things of how Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, CMI led by Brig. Gen. Abel Kandiho, offered support to FLN.
In December last year FLN carried out attacks in Rwanda in which nine people lost their lives. Nsabimana “Sankara” was on Facebook claiming “armed victory” for his group. They also burnt to ashes a couple of vehicles belonging to civilians. When, in a rapid intervention, troops of the Rwanda Defense Force arrived the attackers had fled back to Burundian territory.
During Thursday’s court session Nsabimana said FLN was in constant touch with a Burundian intelligence officer he only identified as “Maj. Bertin”, alias “Moses”.
FLN – a group affiliated with armchair revolutionary Paul Rusesabagina, an individual lionized by a fictitious Hollywood film – also is part of the so-called P5 alliance. This includes Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC, as well as FDLR, the offshoot of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe – perpetrators of the 94 Genocide against the Tutsi.
All these have the full backing of the Museveni government in their plans to bring conflict and instability to Rwanda.
A UN Group of Experts on DRC report published on 31 December 2018 laid out in detail the recruitment, arming and training activities of RNC, and of the P5 Group from bases in parts of eastern DRC. It quoted several RNC and “P5” deserters that provided inside information implicating, among others the governments of Burundi and Uganda in the anti-Rwanda activities.
“By naming Uganda, CMI, and Burundi Callixte Nsabimana was only confirming what everyone that follows news already knows,” said a Kigali observer. “What he did was indict Uganda and CMI ‘from the horse’s own mouth’! Any denials of the Museveni regime will only look ridiculous,” added the analyst that requested anonymity.
The Rwandan terror mastermind disclosed that at one time the Burundian intelligence officer, “Bertin”, set up a meeting between him, as leader of FLN, and CMI chief Kandiho, but that “Kandiho sent a colonel saying he was ‘not available due to other commitments.’”
“Sankara” said: “In our meeting we asked for military support and backing in terms of diplomatic relations, and received a positive answer. By the time of my arrest last month we were planning to go back to Uganda to finalize the deal.”
In its story the New Vision claims that, “relations between Rwanda and Uganda soured after the former blocked trucks of cargo at Katuna, and barred its nationals from crossing into Uganda.” The Ugandan paper does not mention that Rwanda’s closure of it’s side of Gatuna is temporary, with the purpose to expedite works on the One Stop Border Post, and has nothing to do with “soured relations”.
Facts indicate that the bad relations between the two countries emanate from Uganda’s hosting of, support and facilitation of anti-Rwanda groups, as detailed in the UN report among others. RNC recruits in Uganda headed for the group’s training camps have been intercepted, and confessed CMI facilitated them with transportation and forged papers. President Museveni himself has been exposed after meeting with RNC officials like Charlotte Mukankusi and Eugene Gasana, after which he claimed, “he only met those people accidentally.”
Museveni’s hostility to Rwanda has extended to ordinary Rwandan civilians in Uganda. Media reports have detailed stories of many Rwandans that CMI, ISO and other Kampala intelligence agencies have illegally arrested – no arrest warrants, no charges read – and taken to unknown locations.
Rwanda’s diplomatic mission to Uganda has protested these acts of holding people, denying them consular visits – as stipulated by international law – torturing, and dumping them. But, according to sources, the Rwandan High Commission’s notes verbale to Ugandan authorities are never answered.
Rwandan victims of CMI have reported the inhuman abuse and torture they have been subjected to in the agency’s dungeons in Mbuya, and its other so-called safe houses. Some have ended up being crippled and moving in wheelchairs.
During all the torture and interrogation sessions CMI works with people that speak fluent Kinyarwanda, according to almost all the victims that have somehow managed to survive the CMI dungeons and gotten out alive.
Other victims of Ugandan security agents are those especially around border areas, that get pulled off buses, and the accused of “illegal entry”, upon which they are abducted and thrown into prison. Some will be there for periods as long as two years. Rwandan officials have said there are over a thousand such people languishing in prisons of the neighboring country.
Citing such treatment of its citizens in early March this year, authorities in Kigali decided to strongly advise Rwandans against crossing to Uganda. Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera in a series of tweets from his official account made clear the rights of Rwandans could not be guaranteed once across.
“Museveni and his government have declared enmity against Rwanda, and no one should attempt to distort the truth!” said a Rwandan private citizen.
There has never been a single reported reciprocal act of Rwanda’s similar to what the Museveni regime is doing. There has not been one report of anti-Uganda rebel sponsorship by Kigali; no facilitation of recruitment, or similar acts.