Home Op-ed Ugandan envoy Ayebare’s misleading interview with NBS TV on relations with Rwanda

Ugandan envoy Ayebare’s misleading interview with NBS TV on relations with Rwanda

By Alex Muhumuza

Adonia Ayebare (pictured) Uganda’s permanent representative to the United Nations as well as President Museveni’s special envoy to Rwanda has misled the public on supposed improving relations with Rwanda. Unmentioned is what a hindrance to good relations Kampala’s activities are.

Talking about Rwanda, Uganda relations in a report aired by NBS TV Uganda this last Sunday, Uganda’s permanent representative to the UN, and President Museveni’s special envoy to Rwanda, Adonia Ayebare has said that (Ugandan and Rwandan) officials “have continued to meet, and all issues are being addressed.”

In the interview conducted in his New York office, Ayebare was responding to questions about “progress in the Uganda, Rwanda talks to normalize relations between the two states” by the interviewer.

Ayebare goes on to claim that “officials have continued to meet and all issues are being addressed.” He then says he believes an amicable solution is soon to be found. “As far as I am concerned there is no standoff, and the countries continue to relate.”

Observers in Kigali that saw the interview – in which the journalist wondered whether there’s been progress following the Memorandum of Understanding brokered by Angola, and signed by presidents Kagame and Museveni in August last year – were astonished at what they called “the diplomat’s capacity to mislead.”

Contrary to Ayebare’s words, Kampala has been violating the terms of the MoU, even more blatantly as the months have come and gone.

The MoU mentioned at least seven key issues that must be resolved before relations can go back to normal. One of these is for the parties to desist from activities to destabilize the security of the neighbor. Article number 3 specifically says: “both parties reiterated their commitment to refraining from any acts of destabilization against each other.”

Currently however it has been revealed that Uganda has stepped up activities to revive Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC, which was annihilated last year following military offensives to eradicate illegal armed groups operating from Congolese territory. Ugandan President Museveni and Nyamwasa, after licking their wounds for several months, came up with “a two-part plan to overthrow the government of Kigali.”

This website learnt it from reliable sources that the plan involves recruiting cadres for RNC. They would source them from refugee camps populated by Rwandans, and from areas all over Uganda with significant Kinyarwanda-speaking communities.

After training these cadres – from a newly set up RNC cadreship training school in Bugolobi, Kampala – they are sent back to their communities “to mobilize for war against Rwanda.”

Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, CMI, is the organ coordinating this activity, working in tandem with RNC’s Kampala-based agents Prossy Boonabana and Sulah Nuwamanya.

But the activities of these two individuals violate the MoU in two ways: they are working for the destabilization of Rwanda. Yet they are two of the actors supposed to have been repatriated to Rwanda to face trial for exactly such acts as setting up cells in several areas for recruitment, or disseminating anti-Rwanda propaganda.

But Uganda, rather than repatriate them, instead provided them heavier security in their CMI-provided houses in Kampala. 

One wonders how Ayebare would tell the world that “issues are being addressed” knowing well such things are going on.

In the preceding week, it was revealed that Frank Ntwari, the RNC’s youth commissioner – who also happens to be Kayumba Nyamwasa’s brother in law – was in Kampala to review progress on the mobilization, and cadreship training. It was reported that not only did Ntwari meet with Boonabana and Nuwamanya; he also met with senior CMI, Defense, SFC and security officers.

It did not end there. Ntwari also met one of the biggest fish in the Ugandan military and security establishment: President Museveni’s younger brother Gen. Salim Saleh, the most influential individual in the UPDF hierarchy, other than his elder brother.

Ugandan senior officials have been raising complaints that “Rwanda closed the border and therefore trade was severely impeded.”

That issue was what the NBS interview with Ayebare hinged on, with the journalist once again intoning, “what a drag for (Ugandan) trade the closure has been.”    

Rwandans on their part have been pointing out it was Uganda itself, through activities with the goal of destabilizing the security of Rwanda, that closed the border. One prominent Twitter commentator said: “if Uganda so much values its anti-Rwanda plots, then let it forget Rwanda’s market and trade with RNC, or FDLR, or RUD-Urunana and other terror groups that Kampala is in bed with!”

But then, as if to highlight how uncoordinated Kampala’s propaganda efforts on the issue are, Ayebare on the one hand claims that as far as he is concerned “there is no standoff with Rwanda.” Or that “officials have continued to meet, and issues are being addressed.”

But on the other hand Kampala propaganda outlets on the payroll of CMI – an organ run by none other than Ayebare’s half brother, Maj. Gen. Abel Kandiho – regularly publish slanders against Rwanda. One is a recent article by the Commandonepost website that alleges Rwandan security agents (including Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Kampala!) have been involved in a plot to import guns into Kampala “for use by elements in Uganda to fight the government.”

Commandonepost’s smear has been thoroughly debunked, with facts showing the guns were imported by Kampala, and Rwanda has absolutely nothing to do with them.

What a confused group, laughed a Kigali-based social media account.

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