The great lakes region is a region to carefully watch- a region on the blink of fire

We know for a fact that since 2013, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza and Rwandan President Paul Kagame were sworn nemesis- the climax of which were “allegations” that Kagame masterminded a plan to assassinate Nkurunziza after the defeat of M23.

Assassination “allegations” surfaced at the time when it emerged that Nkurunziza had reported to Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete Kagame’s plans of assassinating him (Kikwete). The animosity between PK/Museveni and Nkurunziza/Kikwete block was too satiated that it nearly sent the EAC project to an early grave.

Fast forward, Kikwete asked Nkurunziza not to run for a third term, and so did the USA and the EU. We know for a fact that Kikwete is stepping down soon but Nkurunziza has decided to run again. At the back of it is the fact that Nkurunziza recently met with Paul Kagame in the southern province.

Details of their discussions remain scanty. In the mix are “allegations” that Rwanda masterminded the fleeing of Hussein Rajab from the Burundian maximum security prison. In the mix again is that President Museveni is as well running again, and so is Paul Kagame. USA’s reaction to Nkurunziza’s “sad” term bid is the usual diplomatic prose.

QNs: Are we seeing a regional re-alignment, with the trio of power-thirsty Museveni, PK and Nkurunziza, coming together again, united by their political survival?

Have the two friends-turned-foes-turned friends (M7 and PK) manipulated Nkurunziza to deflect/diffuse the attention their running again will elicit?

How does Hussein Rajab play in the mix, if it is true that Rwanda masterminded his escape?

Will Kagame intervene in Burundi to protect Nkurunziza (his former enemy number one) from violent protests or will he intervene in support of protesters (which wouldn’t augur well with his running again?).

At the back of it all are “allegations” of new RDF/UPDF incursions in the DRC. Should these allegations be true, what would be Kagame/Museveni’s game plan?

Have they as well managed to bring “Kabila” back to the flock given their lowest common denominator (running again for presidency) and therefore working in connivance with Kabila?

If so, where would that leave the FIB? Where would that leave Tanzania (busy with her forthcoming elections) and South Africa (busy with her own internal problems?).

If there is no Kabila/M7/PK alliance, what would be M7/PK politico-military mathematics of attacking eastern DRC in the face of today’s regional and international political dispensations?

Would it be to sow conflict and confusion to effectively eliminate their looming internal political competitions? To what end?

Whatever the case, the great lakes region is a region to carefully watch- a region on the blink of fire.

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Didas Gasana