By Alex Muhumuza
Ugandan intelligence-sponsored propaganda organs have been putting out articles claiming “UPDF is rejecting Rwanda’s strategy to deploy near the Ugandan border.” But, going by a multilateral meeting on the issue, it is none of Uganda’s business to dictate who is “deployed” where or how.
Chimpreports – a mouthpiece of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) that works under the control of the agency’s second in command, Col. CK Asiimwe – last Saturday first wrote: “The UPDF Land Force Commander Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu and his counterparts from Rwanda, DRC and Burundi, as well as US Africa Command held a joint meeting in Goma on Thursday and Friday.
“The meeting centered on the September 2019 agreement of the heads of regional forces and AFRICOM to flush out numerous rebels and terrorist groups in eastern DRC.”
Softpower – another of the Kampal, which belongs to Sarah Kagingo, one of the Museveni regime misinformation specialists – then claimed, on the same day (Saturday 26), that “Rwandan Government is furious over Uganda’s refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding for the two countries’ forces, jointly with DR Congo, to carry out operations in the volatile Democratic Republic of Congo!”
The Ugandan propaganda articles follow a meeting of military leaders from DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi that was convened in Goma last week to discuss modalities of eradicating illegal armed groups in eastern Congo. It was a follow up to a September 13th to 14th meet, which agreed to take conclusive military action on a number of armed groups – rebels and terrorists – in DRC.
Chimpreports and Softpower however are disseminating a completely false take on issues, and writing as if the meetings were convened at Uganda’s convenience, and as if Uganda is the one to sign off on whatever Rwandan forces are supposed to do or wherever they are supposed to be!
“This is just another sign of how low these Ugandan propagandists can sink,” said a security source that read the articles.
Uganda only was one of five entities of which the meeting was composed, according to news sources. It followed an initiative by the leadership of DRC that was supported by other regional heads of state, a framework to totally eradicate all armed groups in eastern DRC was set up.
The initiative is consistent with the country’s determination to rid itself of rebel groups that for decades have been a source not only of instability in Congo, but in the region as a whole. The most notable of the groups – Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC, and the genocidal FDLR, both which are the main entities under the so-called “P5” anti-Rwanda forces, are backed by Kampala.
Over the past few years, reports have built up of how Uganda has become the main recruitment ground for RNC rebels. Or of how the Museveni regime has been the main facilitator of officials of RNC and FDLR for instance issuing them Ugandan passports in their missions to destabilize Rwanda. Or of how Ugandan military personnel were in close contact with people like Callixte Nsabimana “Sankara” of FLN. Or how Ugandan Minister of State for Regional Affairs Philemon Mateke convened meetings in Kampala, at the express instructions of Museveni, to better coordinate the activities of RNC. It goes endlessly on.
Softpower, as part of an anti-Rwanda propaganda strategy, tries to project Kampala’s culpability in acts of hostility upon Rwanda!
In other words, Kampala will pile provocation upon provocation against Rwanda, while its proxies in DRC perpetrate one criminal act after another upon Congolese populations, then through its numerous mouthpieces will unfailingly try to smear Rwanda with those crimes.
In a trademark article full of easily debunked claims, Softpower says: “A Congolese officer revealed to this news website on Friday that Uganda refused to sign the Rwanda-backed MoU on joint operations in DR Congo and that the decision has left Rwanda very furious.”
The question is, how is the MoU “Rwanda-backed” when it is DRC that convened the meeting?
If, in Softpower and Chimpreports’ telling of things, Uganda “refused to sign” then it is Uganda that’s declining to cooperate with others to get rid of the forces of insecurity! That actually is more consistent with Uganda’s acts, said a regional security analyst.
That particular falsehood is accompanied by another: that “Rwanda has for years been carrying out military operations in DR Congo.”
It is the sort of statement all the Ugandan intelligence sponsored websites like to trot out: untrue, unsubstantiated, and calculated to portray Rwanda for what it’s not,” said another source.
“On the other hand, if we are to examine Ugandan’s military activities in the Congo, their operations there have been characterized by criminality,” he commented.
“Really for a Ugandan mouthpiece to dare imply illegality by others when it is UPDF that actually has been convicted – under the direction of Saleh and his older brother – of plundering and looting Congo’s natural resources, it is beyond laughable!”
Uganda currently is saddled by a debt to DRC in excess of US$ 10 billion.
That’s the result of a ruling by the International Court of Justice awarding that amount in damages to Kinshasa after the criminality of the Ugandan military – looting and plundering of natural resources as well as atrocities against local populations – was proven beyond doubt.
“The UN’s highest judicial body ruled that Uganda’s 1998-2003 intervention violated international sovereignty and led to to the killing and torture of civilians and the destruction of villages,” wrote The Guardian newspaper on 20 December 2005.
“Ugandan forces stirred ethnic tension and stole natural resources,” concluded the Guardian’s article.
The Kampala establishment pretends it is fighting ADF but all they do is commit atrocities, observers have pointed out time and again.
The Chimpreports and Softpower pieces are peppered with claims that Uganda is fighting ADF in Congo. “A good number of UPDF troops, including Special Forces, are expected to occupy parts of Beni, Lubero, Rutshuru, Nyiragongo and Masisi.
Some of these places are pretty near the Rwandan border, yet there isn’t any statement from Rwanda that “it will reject UPDF deployment.”
Everything the Ugandans do is just calculated to confuse, and to sow discord, “because a peaceful Congo isn’t in Kampala’s interests,” security analysts say.
This tendency is particularly pronounced in Ugandan propaganda attacks against Rwanda, such as the smear that, “Rwandan forces currently in DR Congo have been accused of carrying out massacres in Mulenge hills.” That’s Softpower in a deliberate slander that accuses Rwanda of atrocities committed by FDLR and RNC.
“The Museveni circus just continues,” laughed our source.