Date: Wed, 22 Feb 95 02:04:40 PST
New plan to invade Rwanda
By Philip Ochieng, Kenya Times, 15 December 1990
The Ugandan Government is planning a new and vastly more massive invasion of RWANDA, an impeccable source close to the Office of President Yoweri MUSEVENI told me by facsimile yesterday. This decision -to overrun the tiny western neighbor directly by KAMPALA's military forces- was taken at a meeting of the top brass of the National Resistance Army (NRA) last week, the source said. The new strategy, he said, had found favour after the failure by NRA-sponsored rebels to overthrow overnight the Government of Juvenal HABYARIMANA of Rwanda. Chaired by President Museveni himself, last week's meeting of the NRA hierarchy included three of the Ugandan leader's topmost advisers on military matters, according to my Deep Throat in Kampala.
There was, for instance, Maj-Gen David KINYAFUNZA, a Minister of State in the President's Office in charge of Defence, who was the general overseer of the invasion of Rwanda three months ago by former NRA soldiers of Rwandese origin. There was also Maj-Gen Salim SALEH, who, in his position as Commander of the Special Reserve Force based at MBARARA, on the border, played the most central logistical role in the invasion. Maj-Gen Saleh, a half brother of President Museveni, is reported to have assumed command of the entire invasion force after troops loyal to KIGALI killed the rebels' Commander-in-Chief, Maj-Gen Fred RWIGEMA, on the second or third day of invasion.
Last week's meeting, also attended by Col Ali -said to play a liaison role between the NRA and the rebels- is reported to have reviewed the strategies being employed by the rebels after their routing by President Habyarimana's men. According to my source, the meeting expressed "deep regret" that the Kigali Government did not fall immediately on October 1 -invasion day- as had been planned by the NRA sponsors of the aggression. President Museveni, he said, had expressed "bitterness" that the rebels had now been reduced to a ragtag of guerrillas given to petty skirmishing, something which, the President is reported to have lamented, was likely to develop into protracted hostilities and prove prohibitively expensive.
These reported "regrets" are lent colour by the fact that, after the news about the invasion was flashed, President Museveni commented that the Kigali Government would be hard-put to defeat the aggressors. He was saying this even as he denied that his Government had any knowledge of the invasion plan, leave alone having sponsored and financed it. Observers now say that these statements had strength at that time only as long as the Western Press and corridors of power had swallowed Kampala's propaganda concerning the invasion.
Since then the invasion has been exposed for what it was -not the work of "refugees" seeking to return home to clean up a government which, according to the rebels, had become intolerable by its tyranny and venality, but the work of a tribally motivated group of hopefuls seeking to restore the centuries-old brutality by the TUTSI against the HUTU.
It was a successful HUTU uprising in 1959 that drove these men to seek refuge in UGANDA, where they gained much influence over the years in alliance with their close cousins, the NYANKOLE, especially with a sub-group called HIMA, to which Mr Museveni is said to belong.
These facts are now well known to the Western custodians of thought, and, so, at last week's meeting, President Museveni is reported as complaining that the new situation in Rwanda was "exposing UGANDAN to terrible international pressure, ridicule and attacks-".
According to Deep Throat, one important strategy adopted during last week's meeting is to provoke Rwandese soldiers into crossing over into UGANDA in hot pursuit. This, said he, would give the NRA men the excuse they need to counter attack with such force as to repel the Rwandese men, pursuing them all the way to Kigali and overthrowing the Government. President Museveni would have a good precedent to go by. In 1979, he was among the Ugandan exiles in the rearguard of Tanzanian soldiers entering Uganda after Idi Amin's troops had overrun Tanzania's Kagera Salient. It was this counter-attack by the Tanzanians and the exiles that culminated in the capture of Kampala and the ouster of Idi Amin after nearly a decade of genocide and destruction.
This lure of Rwandese soldiers into Uganda is to be accompanied by a claim already being heard from Kampala, that Rwanda is holding between 500 and 1,000 Ugandans that it has refused to release them despite requests, and that it is Kampala's duty to free them by force -through an attack on Kigali. And there is a Kenyan angle, to boot, to the whole new plot, the source told me. President Museveni recently claimed that he has removed all foreigners from his awesome military organisation.
What he has actually done, said the source, is to segregate the foreigners -who, he added, include between 100 and 400 Kenyan runaways from justice- from the regular NRA activities in order to be drilled in special guerrilla and commando skills. As has been reported before, he has regularly taken many of these foreigners for training in such techniques in LIBYA, in which he and like-minded Muammar GADDAFI are like Damon and Pythias. The ultimate aim is for the Kenyans to come back to Uganda and when the time is ripe, to play, the key role in invading Kenya, overthrowing the Government and taking it over as a vassal of Mr Museveni's Uganda.
Sources believe that the men represented in this group come from such various underground subversive parties as Ngugi wa Thiong'o's MWAKENYA, Raila Odinga's Kenya Revolutionary Movement and Koigi wa Wanwere's Kenya Patriotic Front. But before such an invasion, according to my Deep Throat in Kampala, they would be required to beef up the invasion of Rwanda and, thereafter, in a lightning movement, cross over into Burundi to secure it for Jean-Baptiste BAGAZA, who was ousted several years ago as overlord of BUJUMBURA.
Mr Bagaza, a TUTSI and close friend of President Museveni was overthrown by Mr Pierre BUYOYA, a member of his own ethnic community. After shuttling for some time between Libya and Brussels to garner international support, he repaired to Kampala at the onset of the October invasion of Rwanda, hoping that it would soon split over, as planned, into Burundi to occasion the downfall of President Buyoya. Also being trained in the Luwero Triangle, are Zaireans, Burundians, Rwandese, Tanzanians and Sudanese -all with the medium or long term aim of helping overthrow their governments for Mr Museveni.
The source stressed again and again that Mr Museveni, who, said, was keenly observing political development in Kenya, is financing certain well known personalities and organizations -including in churches, in the Bar, in trade unions and even in the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU), to prevail on them to help create a "revolutionary climate" in Kenva.