By David Himbara
In an astonishing speech delivered at the Annual Leadership Retreat on March 9, 2019, General Paul Kagame directly named Uganda and President Yoweri Museveni as forces determined to harm Rwanda and Kagame.
According to Kagame, Museveni has given the Rwandan National Congress (RNC), the opposition movement opposed to Kagame, the right to recruit and operate in Uganda.
Kagame says that Museveni is fully aware of this because Kagame himself informed Museveni of this. Here is Kagame in his own words in Kinyarwanda:
”Abantu ba RNC, bahawe uburenganzira bwo gushaka abayoboke muri Uganda mu myaka nk’ibiri n’igice ishize…Guverinoma ya Uganda yemeye kubikora kuko basanzwe bashyigikiye ibikorwa bya RNC byo guhungabanya umutekano mu Rwanda…Ni cyo cyatumye mbivuganaho na Perezida Museveni ubwe…Nta muntu n’umwe, aho ariho hose, ushobora kumfukamisha. Kuko gupfukama ni amahitamo. Kuri njye ntabwo bishoboka. Ndakeka ko ku gihugu cyacu bidakwiye.”
Translated in English, Kagame’s speech reads as follows:
“Uganda has given RNC the right to recruit and operate in Uganda. The Ugandan government agreed to RNC operations because Uganda already supports RNC to destabilize Rwanda. I have personally discussed this with President Museveni. No one can bring me to my knees. Men and women of our country, you should never accept that.”
So now, what? Where is Kagame going with this? By labeling Museveni and his government the destabilizing forces in cohorts with RNC determined to harm Rwanda, is Kagame declaring war?
Note Kagame’s words when he says the following: ”You can attempt to destabilize our country, you can do us harm, you can shoot me with a gun and kill me. But there is one thing that is impossible: No one can bring me to my knees. Men & women of our country, you should never accept that.”
This sounds like a war cry. This, after Kagame has already closed Rwanda’s common border with Uganda.