Museveni needs to do more to restore Rwanda-Uganda relations.
On Monday morning, President Kagame met with Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, who was in Kigali to deliver a special message from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
The envoy’s visit comes six days after Ugandan Defense Minister Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja visited Burundi and Tanzania on Monday. Security experts throughout the region think President Museveni’s message to regional leaders is about the continuing operations of the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) against the ADF.
ADF is a terrorist organization that has mostly operated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but whose operations have had an impact across the area, including Rwanda, where 13 persons tied to the organization were apprehended last October.
Investigations eventually showed that the gang was planning assaults in retaliation for the combined Rwanda-Mozambique operations in Cabo Delgado. This terrorist cell was led by a Ugandan ADF member stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Ambassador Ayebare’s statement comes about two months after the UPDF’s activities began. This delay has prompted concerns about Uganda’s response to a danger that is best addressed via regional cooperation.
“The ADF issue affects the whole area. This terrorist organization has a network that spans more than four nations. As a result, a long-term solution can only come from a well-coordinated regional strategy, which seems to have been overlooked,” said a regional security specialist based in Nairobi.
“There are credible reports that UPDF operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have allowed terrorists from groups such as the FDLR, Rwanda National Congress (RNC), and Urunana to take advantage of the situation to increase recruiting from refugee camps, with the goal of destabilizing Rwanda.” “We are concerned that the UPDF’s unilateral stance may further destabilize the area,” he continued.
The Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Ayebare both tweeted enthusiastically about the envoys’ visit to Rwanda, which seems to be a promising start toward restoring ties.
Several social media critics, though, continue to advocate for actual action.
“It’s great to have you here in Kigali, Amb. Ayebare.” I’ve seen you come to deliver messages multiple times. However, Rwandans continue to be abused, and RNC sympathizers continue to seek safety in Uganda. “When will we proceed from ambassadors to tangible efforts to restore relations?” Ignatius Kabagambe asks in a tweet.
According to insiders, Uganda’s frequent meetings and travels by envoys have yielded no meaningful outcomes. There has been no accountability for terrorist groups operating on Ugandan soil against Rwanda, and the persecution of innocent Rwandans continues, as seen by the recent expulsion of Rwandan residents.
On Sunday evening, the Commander of Ugandan Land Forces, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, sent out an unusual tweet:
“This is Afande Paul Kagame, my uncle.” Those who oppose him are against my family. They should all exercise caution.”
Kainerugaba is also President Museveni’s first-born son.
ChimpReports, well recognized as Uganda’s official mouthpiece that often advocates Uganda’s propaganda against Rwanda, cited multiple unfavorable comments to the tweet, expressing skepticism about the probability of good progress.
In Rwanda, the tweet was greeted positively by social media analysts as well as different government officials as a sign of better ties. But the issue is whether words will be backed by deeds this time.