Less than a week after Ugandan troops hauled into the Democratic Republic of Congo to attack ADF terrorists, pictures have emerged showing log loaders and wide trucks shipping gigantic tree logs to an unidentified station near the Ugandan border.
Uganda had days earlier signed a road construction deal with the DRC. The logs being ferried out of the country are harvested under the guise of road construction.
Much as Uganda is primarily packaging its entry into DRC as war on terror, it should be understood that Kampala has unsettled business with DRC and Rwanda.
Uganda owes DRC over £10 billion in reparations subject to a ruling by International court of Justice. In 1998s and 2003, Uganda military illegally entered DRC, plundered and caused death of many Congolese.
Rwanda also accuses Uganda of aiding its enemies. These are contentious issues that require deep scrutiny of Uganda’s return to DRC.
In March 2019, Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda after a heightened dispute over espionage allegations. Intervention by Angola and DRC resulted in a yet to be implemented friendship agreement- the border remains closed.
Uganda’s return to DRC should be viewed in a multidimensional manner by Kigali especially on the issue of creating fertile ground for all Rwanda’s enemies to regroup, retrain in the area now under control by Ugandan military.
President Yoweri Museveni’s past records of supporting Rwandan rebels’ groups in DRC are warning signs and curtain riser that he wants the history to repeat itself.
In December 2018, the Report of the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo DR found out that the military wing of a coalition of Rwandan opposition groups calling itself the Platform Five or P5, was being armed and trained by Uganda, Burundi and the DRC.
Of recent, the military prosecutions indicated that RUD-Urunana had forces in Kisoro District, Southwestern Uganda and that this is where the recruits were always taken after being collected from various parts of Uganda.
Museveni’s choice of Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga as overall commander of the latest operation in DRC is also a clear indication that this trusted right-hand man is in Congo for wider ambitions.
Maj Gen Muhanga’s statement on the UPDF deployment is contradictory in nature. On one hand, he said, the deployment is a military strategy to fight and weaken ADF’s will to fight but on the way around he says, the deployment is about creating a good environment for bilateral trade between two countries which implies that there is a hidden agenda related to resource trading and looting after the military operation.
“The strategic military end state is of course to defeat rebels and to defeat their will to fight. The strategic military end state is to create a conducive environment to allow smooth trade between two countries..,” Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga disclosed.
The P5 under RNC was sent into DRC jungle to be trained under Maj (rtd) Mudathiru (former RDF force) under the support of Kampala regime.
The P5 were attacked by the FARDC forces, a raid that left many of its forces dead and others caught red-handedly and handed to Rwanda in August 2019.
There are also other 35 rebels that were in the P5 and RUD Urunana who attacked Kinigi and killed residents in 2019 but when RDF counter-attacked them they fled to Uganda and their ring leader with their leader Capt. Cassien Nshimiyimana alias ‘Gavana’ protected by Uganda.
Two weeks back, campaigners, Muhamad Nzabandora a RNC campaigner openly said at a funeral that he had been sent by the RNC. This RNC member told the mourners that he was coming from Gayaza Town, Kyadondo.
He said death is for everyone but that he is saddened by the fact that his brother did not die in his homeland. “We are the people who fight to return to our land, we can’t keep it a secret, we have to be open about it. Rwandans we need to come back to their motherland,” he said.
On account of all these, Museveni sending UPDF forces in the circle of the many anti-Rwanda rebels groups is adding an injury to the wound and an indication to restore his failed plans of supporting these groups.
“They want to establish ground for our enemies to train and prepare,” a highly trusted source in the security service told Taarifa last week. “Uganda is establishing ground for our enemies to distabilise Rwanda. Its a direct provocation and we are observing the situation very carefully.”
Rwanda and Uganda have been meeting several times in the past few years and both heads of state signed MoU’s on peace deals, however, implementations of the agreements are still unachieved.
The UPDF deployment has come when the freedoms of Rwandan nationals in Uganda are being violated, consistently tortured and killed.
Surprisingly, Museveni has never apologized to these acts or stopped supporting anti-Rwanda groups.