By Patience Kirabo
In an act seen as yet another sign that Kampala does not act in good faith on implementation of the Luanda MoU – the signed framework for normalization of relations between the two countries – recently Uganda repatriated to Rwanda several members of the terrorist RUD-Urunana group disguised as ordinary Rwandans. This was when Uganda earlier last month released 132 Rwandan nationals with claims it was “fulfilling obligations to release Rwandan nationals illegally detained in Uganda” (as per resolutions agreed upon on during meetings of the ad-Hoc committee on implementation of the MoU).
It came as a great surprise to Rwandan authorities, however, to discover that of the 132 Rwandans dumped at the border on 8 and 9 May, nine of the fellows were actually members of RUD-Urunana – a terrorist group whose acts include the attack in Kinigi District in October last year that killed 14 innocent civilians before Rwanda security forces put them out of action.
Some Rwandan officials were wondering whether Uganda, or some actors within the Ugandan administration, are knowingly infiltrating terrorists into Rwanda under the pretense of “repatriating Rwandans”. The discovery of the RUD-Urunana fellows amidst innocent deportees happened when Rwandan officials doing due diligence, by meticulous scrutinizing, discovered “something wasn’t right about some of them.”
Upon closer, more detailed questioning, the men confessed they were members of the terror group. The nine men are: Joshua Iradukunda, Theogene Nsanzurwanda, Vedaste Murasanyi, Emmanuel Dusabimana, Felicien Nsengimana, Jean De Dieu Habumugisha, Stephen Harindimana, Etienne Niyomugabo, and Corneille Ntezimana.
“It looks like a deliberate cover-up by the Ugandan government, to conceal the identities and motives of the identified criminals,” commented a Rwandan border security official that requested anonymity.
Rwanda and Uganda signed an extradition treaty that constitutes a legal framework by which to handle individuals involved in subversive acts by the nationals of one state against those of the other; or by the nationals of one’s country residing in the territory of the other. Kampala is the only party that hosts negative groups bent on destabilizing the other.
“Matters in Uganda long ago reached the extent whereby a group like RNC has a ‘Uganda Province’; that is how deep the anti-Rwanda agenda of the Ugandan government is,” a political observer commented. Also Uganda hosts the heads of RUD, in the Kisoro region – home to Ugandan state minister for regional affairs Philemon Mateke. In the past, reports have detailed how Mateke was assigned by the Ugandan president the task of coordinating the anti-Rwanda activities of FDLR and RNC.
Also, after the October 2019 terror attack in Kinigi, evidence collected on the scene by Rwandan security authorities, including phone handsets, indicated that Mateke had been in contact with the RUD-Urunana commanders that led the attack – before, and during the atrocity. The Rwandan ad-hoc team during one of the meetings – this one in Munyonyo, Entebbe – showed that the number in touch with the terrorists belonged to Minister Mateke.
“So now what does it mean that members of RUD-Urunana have been discovered getting infiltrated in guise of repatriating Rwandans?” asked our security source, adding: “Uganda should be clearly repatriating these people as members of negative groups because there are provisions for that in the MoU. Uganda should be legally repatriating people like Sulah Nuwamanya or Prossy Boonabana!” (The two are Kampala-based RNC agents on the payroll of Ugandan Military Intelligence).
The RUD-Urunana men disclosed that most recruits into the terror organization are Rwandan youths from Ugandan refugee camps – mainly from Kisoro, Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, Mubende, Rubare, and Bunyoro region.
Kampala’s acts became more suspicious since, according to reports, not all the deportees were in the records of those sent by the Rwandan Government. On the other hand hundreds more innocent Rwandans that were arbitrarily arrested, illegally detained (incommunicado moreover), and tortured for no other reason than their nationality, still languish in Ugandan prisons, dungeons, or so-called safe houses.