By David Himbara
The East African Community heads of state are meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, on February 1, 2019. One of the topics on their agenda is rather comical — adoption of a political confederation as a stepping stone towards the East African Political Federation. Is this some kind of a joke? This is hilarious because the six presidents aborted two previous meetings due to their differences. And the man at the center of it all the conflicts is no other than Rwanda’s General Paul Kagame. Burundi has branded Kagame an enemy who seeks to overthrow the government of President Pierre Nkurunziza. Uganda branded Kagame an infiltrator who has sent all manner of agents for the purpose of espionage against the government of President Yoweri Museveni. Uganda has gone as far as charging the former Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura, for leading Rwanda’s infiltration.
Uganda-Rwanda sharp differences are escalating
On January 23, 2019, Uganda deported a Rwandan national, Annie Bilenge Tabura, who was a manager in a Uganda-based South African telecom, MTN. Ugandan intelligence agencies spoke of intercepting communications of “a dangerous foreign group and persons” deemed a threat to the security of Uganda. Meanwhile, a French newspaper is alleging that Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) has unmasked a Rwanda Intelligence agent, along with other Rwandans “believed to be part of Rwandan intelligence cells operating in Uganda.”
We wish Kagame good luck with his meeting with fellow East African presidents on February 1, 2019.