Reacting to an article by Marc Hoogsteyns, an independent journalist of Belgian nationality with an interest in issues of our Great Lakes region, Ugandan propagandist Jonah Ruhima is screaming loudly.
Hoogsteyns has written a very critical analysis of Uganda’s most recent invasion of the DRC, which has prompted Ruhima to scream that the journalist “is paid by Kagame.”
To Ruhima, a propagandist working with Ugandan Military Intelligence (CMI), anyone that criticizes Museveni on anything will automatically be labeled an agent of Rwanda.
According to the article by Hoogsteyns on his blog, “Kongomani” Uganda shelled and bombarded DRC, with cameras around, for show, which to the journalist’s observation is a prelude to a bigger conflict, “that could set the whole region in flames.”
He also observes that the whole set up is riddled with contradictions (meaning Museveni’s stated reasons for the invasion are contrived, and fictitious).
Third, the journalist observes that Uganda has been implicated in working with ADF to create chaos in the DRC (so as to keep observers away from activities involving looting and other atrocities). He also points out that some observers are sure the Museveni regime staged the bomb attacks in Kampala, to create the pretext to re-invade DRC.
The overall reason, Hoogsteyns points out, has to do with Uganda’s economy, which is in free fall, suffering from several miscalculations by Museveni.
One of these miscalculations is Kampala’s backing, facilitating, and actively working with terrorist forces – RNC and FDLR among them – to destabilize Rwanda.
That was a grave breach of inter-state relations, which together with the Museveni regime’s campaign of harassment of innocent Rwandans prompted Kigali to close its borders with Uganda. Museveni’s activities had cost Ugandan exporters the entire Rwandan market. Uganda felt it painfully, with its businesses realizing losses of approximately US$ 166 million per month in lost export revenues.
The Ugandan ruler and his officials panicked. Museveni’s former state minister for regional cooperation Philemon Mateke threatened “to report Rwanda to the EAC secretariat.” Bitter Ugandan businesses, food processors, manufacturers, even small-scale traders in the border towns – which were becoming ghost towns because of lost trade with Rwanda – took Museveni to task to do something.
Museveni has since been floundering around, promising roads in Congo, in Burundi, and so on, all to show that he can “bypass Rwanda.”
All this shows Ruhima’s village jingoism that “Uganda doesn’t need Rwanda” holds no water.
The Rwandan market was very important, and only Museveni’s hubris – in assuming he would try, with his proxies, to destabilize Rwanda, and harass, mistreat, and even kill innocent Rwandans with no consequences – blinded him to this.
Most laughable about Ruhima’s boasts that “they do not need Rwanda” is how these very CMI propagandists are always whining, on their websites and social media accounts, that “Rwanda open the border!” (“boarder” as they always say).
There is no disputing the fact the Ugandan economy is in tatters. Uganda is deep in unsustainable debt. The so-called oil revenues remain just a song and dance. The Chinese reportedly have confiscated the airport.
The invasion of DRC therefore indeed is partly because the Kampala regime is trying to find some new sources of revenue, whether by hook or by crook.
But Ruhima screams at people for saying truths like this. He does this to try to stifle the facts.
In his article, published on the Commandonepost – one of the several outlets of CMI misinformation – Ruhima claims that Uganda is in DRC “for noble purposes,” including the promised “byooya bya nswa” roads.
He probably imagines the world has forgotten that the only thing the Ugandan army ever does in Congo is loot, rape, and kill civilians. In 2005 the International Court of Justice ordered Uganda to pay DRC US$ 10 billion in damages, for exactly these crimes.
Not surprisingly CMI propagandists never mention this fact.
To get back to the invasion of DRC, while the main motive is plunder, the other one is to provoke a war with Rwanda – hence the testing of heavy weaponry, with the pretense of shelling ADF (a small band of highly mobile people whose location no one can pinpoint).
The weapons that Uganda has used are for fighting with a conventional foe, not terrorist groups. Therefore the analysis that Uganda is using eastern Congo as a testing ground for its weapons is borne out by facts.
On the other hand, Museveni probably thinks he is laying the ground, preparing the region for a war, which however he would prefer to fight using his proxies from bases in DRC.
Despite CMI propagandists’ frantic efforts to stifle the truth, evidence that Kampala works with RNC and FDLR is plentiful.
Two public cases of RNC, and FDLR militias in court confirm the statement. When an RNC commander Habib Mudathiru and 25 other fighters of the group were extradited by DR Congo to face trial in Rwanda, court heard over and over again how P5 (RNC and four other terrorist groups) recruited and trained in Uganda, but traveled to East Congo hoping to launch attacks on Rwanda.
A second case is of FDLR officials, its spokesman and head of intelligence, whom Congolese security arrested in July 2018 on their way from Uganda. They were extradited to Rwanda. The top FDLR men – Ignace Nkaka aka La Forge Fils Bazeye and Lt. Col. Jean-Pierre Nsekanabo “Abega” – were from a meeting with RNC in Uganda, organized by none other than Philemon Mateke.
The two narrated how it was Mateke who coordinated the meeting, on long-standing instructions by Museveni, to harmonize the activities of the two terrorist groups.
These only are a few of very many incidents that clearly pin Kampala on efforts to destabilize Rwanda.
One interesting thing about propagandists like Ruhima is their endless whining about Rwanda’s activities to safeguard its security and sovereignty from Museveni, yet always pretending they are the victims.
Their master Museveni is the one that started all the aggressions years ago, insolently assuming that he would usurp Rwanda’s sovereignty from Kampala.
It is such insolence that makes Museveni and his people forget the role of Rwandan fighters in putting him in power, at the same time as they constantly repeat the propaganda that “it is they that liberated Rwanda!”
They try to downplay facts such as that in 1995, fearing an attack from a neighboring country, Museveni requested the RPA (now RDF) assistance to fortify key installations in Entebbe, Jinja, and Kampala – which the Rwandans did for twelve months.
Ugandan propagandists like to persuade themselves to overlook such facts.
They keep inventing their own narratives, completely divorced from reality, to soothe their egos.
That is how in the first place they persuaded themselves to provoke the Kisangani battles, to calamitous consequences for themselves.
Now they are boasting about their “heavy equipment”, forgetting that wars are not won by equipment, much less by posturing through bombarding of jungles.
Which all renders Ruhima’s question that “What strategic value is there in Uganda fighting against Rwanda?” rather disingenuous.
A neutral observer would see that the journalist made his observations; not calls for war.
Ruhima fails to address the issues, and goes all in with rants and insults.