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The Rwanda-Uganda conflict


Rwandan president Paul Kagame (left) and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni

How Kampala has mismanaged her relations with Kigali and why Rwanda closed her border

THE LAST WORD | Andrew M. Mwenda | Let me do what politicians always do – claim they run for office due to popular demand. Many people have been asking me to comment on the heightened tensions between Uganda and Rwanda. By writing this article, I am yielding to popular pressure. I think Uganda and Rwanda will most likely degenerate into war; something I have shared with friends since October last year and this is the reason it is critical that I share my views.

The current standoff is happening only weeks after President Yoweri Museveni gave a highly acclaimed speech to fellow African heads of state at the African Union in Addis Ababa in defense of regional integration and President Paul Kagame assumed chairmanship of the East African Community. That the two could be close to war shows the distance between aspiration and action.

The problems between Uganda and Rwanda can easily be solved if Museveni upheld his core ideological position i.e. that regional integration is critical for Africa’s future, and that the differences between our countries are smaller compared to the strategic need for and benefits of cooperation. From this view, if any two nations have differences they should seek to listen to each other and solve them. The problem between Uganda and Rwanda – as I know it – is the refusal of Kampala to listen to the concerns of Kigali and/or put her own grievances on the table for discussion.

For example, Rwanda has complained severally to Uganda both formally and informally about the presence of persons hostile to the government in Kigali. It says these people abuse their refugee status in Uganda by indulging in politically hostile actions against the government in Kigali. Rwanda has further complained that these persons (many of whom it has named) are actively aided by Ugandan intelligence to recruit Rwandans from refugee camps and take them to DR Congo for training in rebel camps.

Kigali has always wanted and actively sought to discuss these matters with Kampala. It has been met with stone silence. Instead, Kigali has been reading in Ugandan traditional and social media that it is the government of Rwanda planning regime change in Kampala. Websites allied to State House in Uganda are leading this charge. Some security chiefs in Uganda have said similar. Yet Kampala has never made a formal or informal complaint to Kigali on these allegations. This has placed the government of Rwanda in a difficult situation on how to respond to media rumors when government of Uganda has never owned them.

This situation could have been arrested long ago. However, all efforts to begin a dialogue between the two countries have been thwarted by Uganda. The most serious one was mid last year when I worked with Gen. Salim Saleh to send a delegation to Kigali or invite a Rwandan delegation to Kampala for discussions. We even greed on the team of Ugandan officials. I talked to Kagame who readily nominated a team of officials to meet the Ugandan side. On the last minute Museveni personally cancelled the plan saying he will handle this matter directly with Kagame.

I personally tried several times to interest Museveni in the issues Rwanda was raising but he either expressed indifference or paid leap service or said he will discuss them directly with Kagame, which he rarely did. This was especially frustrating for me because between 2011 I worked closely with the Ugandan president to repair our relations with Kigali. During that time I was impressed by Museveni’s boldness, courage and strategic foresight. His subsequent loss of interest without explanation was confusing.

While Museveni has promised to discuss these matters directly with Kagame and which he has done on occasion, there has been no follow up by Kampala. I am aware that whenever Museveni has met Kagame, he has never raised the issue of regime change by Kigali against him. Kagame has told Museveni that Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) actively works with Rwandan dissidents. Museveni has promised to verify the claims and end the problem. The last I heard is that Uganda sent one such person to Norway.

CMI has been detaining Rwandan nationals in illegal facilities, torturing and deporting them to Rwanda. CMI accuses these people of spying but has never produced them before courts of law. Neither has Uganda complained to Rwanda about this. Kigali has protested these detentions and deportations formally and informally. Again it has been met with stone silence. Meanwhile Uganda accuses Rwanda of kidnapping and killing Rwandans in Uganda and of seeking regime change but never provides names or any evidence and has never made a formal or informal protest to Rwanda.

I have told officials of Uganda that even if these allegations of kidnappings and killings are true, Rwanda is supposed to be our ally. When an ally behaves like that, you don’t stop talking to them. Israel is an ally of America. On many occasions its intelligence services have been caught either kidnapping people from America or infiltrating US intelligence and stealing highly classified information. These actions by Israel have been a great irritant to the USA, but they have never formed a basis for the break in relations. Recently America was caught tapping calls of leaders of nations among her NATO allies but this did not lead to the break in relations.

Museveni is one of the most strategic minded persons I have read and listened to. I do not think he would preside over the collapse of a strategic relationship with an ally because of such infringements. Such infringements are the reason to dialogue, not break-up. The only conclusion I can infer from his attitude towards Kigali is that either he does not consider Rwanda an ally or he does not think our relationship with her is strategic – or both. I have increasingly come to believe that Museveni sees Kagame’s Rwanda as a threat, a factor I will write about in detail in my next post.

Now here is the slippery slope to war: if Rwanda is convinced Kampala is seeking regime change against Kagame, it will not sit idly and watch. Uganda has enemies too. It follows that Kigali will be driven to aid them. Given the interpenetration of the two societies and government systems, Kampala will finally get the hard evidence of this aid. Thus what begun as empty claims that Kigali is seeking regime change against Museveni will now be fact with evidence!


  1. My view is both Kagame and Museveni should step down, Same as the Burundi leader and hand over power to the opposition that can actually unite all the great lakes region citizens. Kagame was a refugee in Uganda all this year’s trained by Museveni to capture Rwanda and lots of Rwandan and Burundian Uganda working closely to Museveni who by the way is also not a Ugandan himself. It’s time Museveni let go of Uganda and hand it back to the real Ugandans not Bobby wine who’s a Burundian.

    Kagame needs to let go now so as to be forgiven by his people and try to set up a government that will be for the people by the people in uniting all the Rwandan groups then hand over power to a more civilized unmilitant leader. It’s time three of these old farts to leave power… Museveni, Kagame and the Burundi leader so that Congo can be free and all the rebel thugs like Koni lower down their weapons and go home.

    • Jeje. Your comment is out of the title

    • Am sorry to say say this Mr. but your completely out of the field ho try something else.

      • Seriously Mr. Jeje your not of this type of game. Sorry 👋

      • Andrew you are here bragging about your relationship with dictators. You used to be a respected journalist who was impartial and independent minded. I am disappointed you lost the journalistic impartiality due to greed and love for money. Charles Onyango-Obbo must be disappointed in you too. He has maintained his principles. And by the way Andrew, your articles are no longer well researched. This too was poorly written.

    • Jeje, how old are you?
      How do you manage your family if you have one?
      If that’s how you solve problems, then you must have given your teachers hard time.
      I’m sorry…

    • It’s a fact that Mzee looks at PK as son, but when you see Rwandan Refugees in Uganda, those seeking Political asylums and extra judicial killings. The chaos in Burundi being caused by Rwanda and cries that had locked DRC. There is a limit even a parent can take. But i think Rwanda is feeling the heat bz Mzee has started on correcting their errors for example DRC- Felix has publically said Mzee was behind his success and he freed all Political prisoners, Burundi- Piere Mzee is the main reason he still in Power.
      For once can Rwanda save us and resettle its refugees from Uganda before they start with their CROCODILE TEARS.

      My prayer is that God continues to give Mzee wisdom to continue render his services to Humanity.

    • Who is that opposition leader that can unite the great lakes region?

  2. These papers have vindicated me. I am the lone voice who spelled out that Kagame was avoid and a froud whose only anxiety was to make the outside world believe that he was a “President.” He has done everything hastily regardless of whether his policies are inclusive. He is/was entirely after making a personal public name at the expense of the plight of his people. He has entirely focused his attention to tourism to the extent that mountain gorillas in Rwanda are better treated than the people in that country. To be continued…

    • “I think Uganda and Rwanda will most likely degenerate into war;…….’ This sentence, written by a man who has access to both countries’ internal operating, is not light. It is incumbent on everyone who lives in this region to reflect. If we support or beat the war drums to teach so and so a lesson, the war is likely to occur……but suppose by sheer bad luck, things turn out as they did in Kisangani, there will be the dead, IDPs and refugees. The reflection I was alluding to is: Will my brother Kakyama be among the dead, IDPs or refugees. When people are displaced by war, some travel by private means including air, others by public and yet others on foot…..in which category are you? When they reach where they are destined out of danger’s reach, some buy/rent houses,others check-in hotels and others in the open under Red Cross plastic sheetings…..where will my brother be? Plan B or contingency is always good to have handy because you never know what might be. Yours truly having seen the evils of wars in this region will wait for the outcomes but I assure you that there can be no winner if Rwanda and Uganda went to war……the best witnesses are unfortunately gone a la Col Edison Muzoora, Col Sula Semakula, Gen Kazini and others. Gunfights to appease ego are best left inside one’s chest…..lest people regret their rash actions.

    • Mande kasirabo Mulindwa

      Mwebda are you Ugandan or rwandese be careful what you wish for

  3. But Andrew, the refusal to let Rwanda act with impunity in uganda and a clamp down on their actions in uganda should be seen as our response to their shenanigans surely.
    Closing their borders is only an escalation.
    Rwanda should solve the problem by not having refugee camps in uganda or any country. Then there will be no recruitment. Yes, closing the borders can do that. The irony.
    I think our president is being arrogant and elitist. Your friend President Kagame is not being candid with you or there are facts about the conversations between the two presidents that you are not sharing. I for one will not be convinced that our president did not lay his case bare to President Kagame. We have all seen him go off script many many times. Ranting and haranguing his dissenters with emotional tirades that inadvertently allude to valuable, “sources and methods”, of intelligence acquisition or alluding to deeper stories behind the official government position. You can’t tell me our dear president suddenly goes all machiaveli in private candid conversation. I except otherwise.
    You raise pertinent issues tangential to the purpose of your blog post but the key issue her is egos where one president is trying to spread his internal policy abroad and another feels he is owed certain respect by these “Johnny come lately”.
    That said Johnny is smart and successful while ozimandius is right in his expectations of national integrity.

  4. A direct front line is unlikely since it works against both leaders. First, if Rwanda sends an expeditory force to Uganda, they may bring war to the presidents back yard by turning Kabale, Ntungamo and Mbarara into battle grounds. I am also sure most of these towns including Rwakitura could be within the striking range of some advanced artillery. So, this will break the back of Uganda. On the same note, Kigali is very close to Uganda and can also be devastated without Uganda even sending in ground troops. Either way, both nations stand to loose. My fear is that mutual suspicion will continue and the person with a better wit shall outsmart the other and lead to his downfall. It’s a Korean situation.

  5. President Kagame and Rwanda have failed their mission of destabilizing Uganda, they spent millions I dollars on Media like Nbs, Paid off government officials of Uganda, used Ugandan police officers like kayihura, and send countless DMI Rwanda operatives to operate in all sectors of the Uganda’s economy, assassinated influential and other common persons in Uganda in order to paint a picture of insecurity in Uganda, plus infiltrated telecom companies and banks, among other illegal activities. However all this has yielded nothing but has only exposed Rwanda. Now kagame is desperate he’s daily trying to convince Rwandans that Ugandans are evil, but kagame’s own people are afraid I him, they know the truth, most of them travel to Uganda alot, they have relatives there, they own land and businesses in Uganda. infact most Rwandan government officials own big properties in Uganda but they can’t dare mention this. They know Uganda is the only country that has tolerated Rwandans, but because kagame says Uganda is the enemy they have no choice but to follow. Museveni will never trust kagame again that’s why he won’t talk to Rwanda any more .

  6. ejakait engoraton

    THE Ganda say “gwoba naye bwakusula emanju…………” meaning ,if the person with whom you have stolen , killed etc, sleeps in the neighborhood, you have cause to have a sleepless night.

    THESE two partners in crime know what the other is capable of doing and are therefore restless all the time not sure what the other is up to.

    The failure for any formal talks to take place is because the two principles consider their respective countries almost as personal estates , and most especially in one of the cases , there are no institutions. Matters are handled at a personal level, the reason there is no follow up. The last time there was a meeting, it was the principles who met and talked, and no one or very few people know what transpired in the meeting. It was not a delegation meeting officials of say the relevant ministries .

    Even now, the brother in law, Sam Kuteesa is the one issuing statements, not as a minister , but more as a muko in a family feud.

  7. quote “……While Museveni has promised to discuss these matters directly with Kagame and which he has done on occasion, there has been no follow up by Kampala. I am aware that whenever Museveni has met Kagame, he has never raised the issue of regime change by Kigali against him……..”. unquote …….So what does this show? It proves one and only ONE thing; That Museveni is not independent in action but a puppet of some merciless debtor I heard him one time tell the Kabaka, “stay out of politics because it is for us bakopi”
    I thereafter knew that that fellow’s dignity is on/off. I pity people who take him seriously, bound to be heart-broken sooner than later.

    • The Hoarse Whisperer

      Or….. it could mean any number of other things, such as: that M7, in his assessment, dot not consider PK’s issues (or non-issues) to really be worth his time, resources, or reputational legacy…. or that, in the end, he figures that giving a schizophrenic sociopath free-reign in his backyard is too much of a ‘Faustian Bargain’ (pun not intended)…..

    • The Hoarse Whisperer

      Or….. it could mean any of a number of things, such as: M7, in his assessment, figures that PK’s issues (or non-issues) are just not worth his time, resources,or reputational legacy…. or that, in the end, he thinns that giving a schizophrenic sociopath a free reign is just too much of a ‘Faustian Bargain’ (pun unintended M7 does not hunt down, lock up, or assasinate even his most rabid critics within and outside Uganda…. what makes you believe that he is obligated to be complicit in your petty vendettas…. more-so at a time when is particularly busy picking off your ‘kawuukumi’ from the system??…. methinks all this whining is nothing more than the desperate diversionary maneuvers of a guy who increasingly finds himself cornered by ‘Uncle Leopard’….

    • The Hoarse Whisperer

      Or….. it could mean any of a number of things, such as: M7, in his assessment, figures that PK’s issues (or non-issues) are just not worth his time, resources,or reputational legacy…. or that, in the end, he thinns that giving a schizophrenic sociopath a free reign is just too much of a ‘Faustian Bargain’ (pun unintended M7 does not hunt down, lock up, or assasinate even his most rabid critics within and outside Uganda…. what makes you believe that he is obligated to be complicit in your petty vendettas…. more-so at a time when is particularly busy picking off your ‘kawuukumi’ from the system??…. methinks all this whining is nothing more than the desperate diversionary maneuvers of a guy who increasingly finds himself cornered by ‘Uncle Leopard’….

  8. In the 21st century, countries depends on each other, I think that the Government of Uganda should cooperate and together with Rwanda’s authority, every problems will be solved, in the end we are brothers

    • The Flying Pantsman

      ‘I think the government of Uganda should cooperate…’ by ‘cooperate do you mean that the government of Uganda should bend over backwards and let Rwanda do whatever it wants, including sending functionaries into Uganda to nuettralise political adversaries of Kagame?

      I think that for a country that is famous for telling people to stay out of its internal business, Rwanda is normalizing some pretty bad manners in the region… I just don’t understand why people even think that this is OK…

      I think the real question people ought to be asking themselves is this: ‘Is PK mostly angry because M7 has refused to act on this ‘issue’ or is it because M7 has disagreed with him on principle?

      If Uganda ‘cooperates’ and starts getting rid of political refugees, what precedent does that set for downstream events? I think this is a really worrying trend from Rwanda.

      • But why did “Uncle Leopard ” corner the man in the first place? Either wants to eat him or kill him, that’s what Mwenda wants to discuss.

        • Strangely, it’s only Rwandans who think along these binary lines ‘Kill or not Kill’…. but there are so many options in between…. not every disagreement has to end in murder… but I guess it will take a long time for some people to come round to that

  9. “We cannot turn the clock back nor can we undo the harm caused, but we have the power to determine the future and to ensure that what happened never happens again.”

  10. In this article, Mwenda wrote what President Kagame has said. President Museveni has repeatedly refused to respond to Rwanda’s claims. Uganda has continue to harbor Rwandan criminals and fugitive. And all those issues has affected Rwanda and Uganda bilateral relations over the years

  11. Rwanda is a very open and free country. Key to our recovery as a nation has a range of grassroots, citizen-centered polices we call “homegrown solutions.” The idea that Rwanda is highly controlled from the center belies the reality, which is that citizens in every village have a powerful say in how things get done. We prize accountability and Rwandans are quickly adapting themselves to the possibilities of a digital economy.

    • Thanks brother

      • Andrew, am I just imagining it or are you partial towards Rwanda? As Ofwono- Opondo once said it is easier to abuse M7 because he generally does not respond to petty politcking by wanainchi compared to PK who will have goons at your door before the ink is dry. ….
        With that said, I agree that M7 has no intention of settling this matter amicably. M7 has historically shown a penchant for intolerance and disdain for dialogue. Just look at his response to imagined slights in the 1960’s – starting a rebelious student group, 1980 going to the bush even when he had hardly won any votes , 1985 duping Tito Okello in NBI for dialogue while fighting behind his back. Not to mention numerous duplicitous maneuvers in the internal politics of Uganda whereby he pretends to listen to you only to find out months later that he has been plotting behind your back. Anyway , PK disrespected M7 in Kisangani and I can assure you that M7 will never forget that. As a side note i suspect that a larger population of Uganda who has been rankled by Rwandese influence in our country over the past four decades are gleefully capering about and hoping for a rift which will return Rwanda to it rightful ignominous position of tiny country in the south of Uganda whom we patronize

    • who are you lying to, everyone knows kagame started the genocide by killing habyarimana, hes a war criminal and butchers anyone that speaks ill will of him i promise if you go in the rwandan streets annd say “kagama ni ichigoji” which means, kagame is an idiot, you will either be killed or jailed as soon as possible, its pretty much north korea over there, the problem with rwanda is its current government and those who support kagame,simple as that get real, stop being delusional

      • I think you are right. If you insult a President you must be in trouble. This is not democracy or free speech you keep claiming, it is bad manner and dangerous ideology you are teaching young generations.

      • Are you a truth teller when you don’t have any truth?!?!
        You are harboring bad ideology.
        We in Rwanda are even blessed to have him “ our President “
        How on earth can you insult your blessing.
        Abd as he has said oftenly neither of is so sadned of Habyarimana’s death.
        As for starting Genocide; please don’t bring that!!
        We thank God that Kagame’s RPA was there for our Survival.
        The few of us who survived we know who out God used to make us survive.

      • But the genocide started I 1959! When did Habyarimana’s die? If what you are saying is out of ignorance, it is ignorance with bad faith.

    • Semana tell your leadership to make conditions at home conducive for refugees to return home,why should you have your citizens live outside your country as refugees? then blame the host of aiding recruitment ? solve the refugee problem first.

  12. No one want a war…. Yeah, I hope even President Museveni do not want a war, since a war in this region can help anyone. We have lost many relations, and time in conflict, today we should strive for development. And good relations between our sister countries is one of the factor.

  13. Andrew Mwenda’s opinion is of a journalist, he has never assumed any government office with known constitutional mandate to handle diplomatic duties.
    I am sure there is a lot more he does not know , or he will never know between politics of the two sister nations.

  14. There is no reason we should be having Rwandan refugees in Uganda when Rwanda is largely peaceful,We hosted Kagame and his friends when they were never wanted in their home country.

    Its high time Kagame learnt to accommodate political dissent,or risks having his political rivals seek refugee in friendly neighboring countries like Uganda…Uganda can not afford to chase away all Rwandans,(at least not in the M7 regime).In conclusion,the Kigali administration needs not to close boarders but to learn to live in the same country without killing its political rivals.

  15. There are people who want Kagame to fail and fall, same for Museveni. They are: “failed politicians”, people with personal vendetta, hate mongers with tribal hatred (the Kakyama types and their kin i.e. the ones who felt vanquished by RPA and NRA during their respective wars), people in the business to ensure that Africans should never succeed, plain opportunists and scavengers, they all see an opening should there be war between Rwanda and Uganda.

    Back to the article, the theme of which is; “let both sides put their complaints and evidence on the table”, my addition; “in the presence of a mutually agreed, trusted and respected regional or world leader” since both presidents feel right about their positions! Otherwise, in a war between the two neighbors, there will be no winners, even though some may and will win battles.

    Mwenda, you should be appreciated for your boldness, where simple minds see one sided view, sober minds see a desire to have a problem genuinely solved.

  16. The hypocrisy of Rwanda and it’s officials. You have frustrated our businesses, cancelling contracts we have won because we are Ugandan. Why did you even join the community when you can not respect international laws governing fair business?

    In my view you should be isolated until you stop your arrogance.

  17. Who care about Paul Kagame,

    The bad things with Rwandan people there wonna be a Uganda many Rwanda there don’t wonna go back to there country, can Rwandan people can there understand it there come to Ugandan as a refugee where is no war in Rwanda anymore Rwandan must go back.

    But many Rwanda there dont won’t to understand that there wonna bring that as a fight. Befor even Paul Kagame start fighting to Ugandan. Paul Kagame need to know it without Ugandan Paul Kagame never was gonna be where he his now.paul Kagame need to look back and think about when he come to Ugandan as a refugee.
    Paula Kagame talk too much because he won’t to get Rich country Attention,because president Paul Kagame think it if he talk to much and then he will be getting white people Attention then the white people feel sorry for him and give him money for making his liveing. Life is not easy to take responsibility for as a president of the country. President Paul Kagame talks only about Tutsis what Hutus. Paul Kagame dont know how to bring his country together, instead Paul Kagame bringing all his people together no matter if there Hutus or Tutsis but Paul Kagame dont know how to do that, Paul Kagame talk only about Tutsis and then pretend and speak very loud about Uganda, instead bringing his country together with everybody in his country but Paul Kagame dont know how to do that,he know only how to speak loud to get Attention blaming othere country.

    • Brother yo so harsh we’re in 21st century wake up and stop the ideology please open your eyes and wash your face otherwise the world will let you down with such mentality. Thanks

    • Analog minds but work hard to reach digital world and prepare to pay much from your past residence to current place others working on. Because past isn’t a good place for you to live.

      (Free message: digitalize you thoughts to satisfy your life)

  18. All in all things will ho back to right ways. Amen for God and our countries

  19. Even biological twins fight to their hardest and then after coolsome temper they rejoin

  20. Oldman says”you are my kid follow my rules ” who called kid found oldman is not his father, so here rules can’t work.
    Jealous of one to other depending on respect from achievements.
    No eternally friend no eternally enemy.

  21. Dear Andrew, the whole world knows that Mr. Kagame does not tolerate any opposing voice , and the only thing he does to those who oppose him is Killing them, something which has pushed all Rwanda politicians out of Rwanda.
    The same people who runs away from him due to his radicalism and terrorism, are the one he cry that are fighting him back.
    Now, a person who can not debate with fellow Rwandese with opposing ideas, is the same.person who does not agree with countries around him.
    The solution to Rwanda -Uganda -Burundi, issues ,Lies in the hand of Kagame, if he allow people to challenge him in rwanda without killing them, no one will go out to fight him .
    Assume Musseveni did not allow Kizza or Bobi wine to challenge him freely and they run to Rwanda for their life , we would have had the same situation of Uganda accusing rwanda of supporting opposition in Uganda.
    Tell Kagame to loosen the rope on his people , he will also enjoy some sleep , with not crying noise in his hears every night.

  22. Murderous Paulo, is haunted, by his Blood stained hands,
    and will be the case, for ever & ever & ever…….

  23. The irony of Kagame saying he chooses not to kneel down or accepting Museveni’s domineering and would rather die fighting than accept that indingnity yet that same Kagame wants to domineer and forcefully even thru murder make the nyamwasa’s,victoire ingabire’ and other rwandan dissendents to kneel before him and accept his perspective of the world is strange lack of awareness for such a great man.

    Maybe this episode should open Kagame’s eyes that no one especially the Rwanda political dissidents enjoys being forced to go against their beliefs even with the threat of prison or death.

    That as Kagame is willing to fight to the death for his honor/beliefs so also are the nyamwasa’s, victoire ingabire’ ,Seth sendashonga’s of Rwanda.

    When the dissidents accept defeat in rwanda and choose to live as free men and women in exile

    ..Kagame still hunts for them in exile to force them to kneel and accept his personal perspective with threats of repatriation to rwandan prisons or even death in any part of the world they maybe exiled

    This behavior leaves them no choice but to mobilise and fight for their lives/freedoms.

  24. Most of people need to understand the different between opposition and criminals those people u mentioned above are criminals not opposition and fyi we do hv opposition parties in our parliament do ur own research @mukasa

  25. in the end ,the common man is the one that suffers.as they say,when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. Many Ugandan businessmen have made losses due to this crisis and many rwandan students have been unable to attend lectures.This shows that both countries benefit from the good bilateral relationship. The two leaders should therefore talk as pan africanists and resolve the issues between the two governments.

  26. @Gisa the Apartheid rule/governments in South Africa were legal and men like the Mandela’s who took up arms to bring a swift end to the minority racist rule where considered criminals and sentenced to death/life imprisonment .

    Criminalizing dissent or free thought isnt a rwandan innovation just because a government passes laws that criminalizes people having free will and courts convict people for have that free will and expressing that free will doesn’t take away that universal human freedom

    Besides speaking of having opposition in rwandan parliament, government etc maybe negated by the similar and not so original claims that even Apartheid government of South Africa claimed to have opposition

  27. ejakait engoraton

    I have a feeling that despite all the facts and figures pointing to Uganda having a far superior advantage to Rwanda; that is in terms of hardware, personnel, resources, ability to hurt economically, Rwanda does not seem to be scared of Uganda.
    I trust that Rwanda is like the woman who starts a battle or quarrel with her husband, who is bigger and stronger, but she fully knowing she has something in her arsenal that can bring the man to his knees, something like going for his balls and squeezing the hell out of them.
    I think Kagame has the Red Indian war mentality.This means that of the attacking forces, you ignore all the troops and the foot soldiers and go to the leader.
    Kagame has the capacity and ability, if he chose to, to strike a fatal blow where it matters and knowing fully well that this is the source and cure of the problem, the war would be over in an instant as Uganda would take on a different war and would have no interest or ability to fight Rwanda.
    Fill in the gaps and you will get my drift

    • The stories I am hearing are not good at all.Uganda is superior to Rwanda in ways pertinent to ‘ekigo ‘ type of combat but modern warfare is different……………see how Israel does its far-numerically-superior neighbours and you will get the hint. Now a whisperer was telling me that the recent satellite Rwanda launched is no educational tool as they told the world but a communication-jamming monster that will render any army a confused babel of sorts. Imagine if the C-in-C fails to talk to any commander and no commander talks to his men just because the communication gadgets are all killed, rumour will reign on the battlefield and as is wont to be, one wounded will be 200 dead, the next thing you know an LDU whispers to a fellow LDU ………all will desert at night including those tasked to stop them from deserting……….looting and raping along the way like the UA of 1979…..40 years ago is a long time and people have short memory. The Uganda and Rwanda Supreme courts should constitute into 1 court and then investigate the cause of this stand-off else visionary might be interrupted……as he tries desperate sleigh of hand mbu to divert people from BW….who is taking all Universities’ guilds presidencies effortlessly. The writing is on the wall.

  28. ejakait engoraton

    The allies during the second world war, as well as some of his own generals and several other groups tried all they could to take out HITLER, fully knowing that it would bring a completely different aspect to the war. This they did not manage and Hitler took himself out and shortly afterwards Germany surrendered.

  29. @mukasa dear brother I totally understand the SA phenomena but Rwanda history is a beat deferent from SA let’s leave the speculation and go with facts, the top so called oppositions of the government of Rwanda are FDRL and RNC which are trying to join their hands together to fight against the government of Rwanda and if u could remember FDRL are genocide perpetrators who run away from Rwanda in 1994 to Congo forests instead of facing courts but their fellow members who managed to come back peaceful to Rwanda they served their penalties and they are living with other Rwandans in the country working together to build their nation then when u talk about RNC u can’t go far from a man called kayumba nyamwasa who is the head of this group and I can simply remember that this man was army chief of Rwanda defense force beside that he was also among RPA(Rwanda Patriotic army) the force stopped genocide and took over and formed unity government of all Rwandese then after all incredible milestones of achievements he got misunderstandings with his boss(p.k) and decided to run away hence forming an opposition party which was not bad but the problem for them to gain the government attention they started throwing grenades in public places in Rwanda it was around 2010 hence they became criminals not opposition now the problem is why CMI is facilitating these groups? The proper answer can take us back in history between these two countries in 1986-1994.thx for understanding the reason behind this long text!

    • Let add something on this especially the issue of Rwanda refugees in Uganda camps and PK labelled as murder.

      People should take their time and understand the history of Rwanda. Uganda has more ethnics but they have not been used to discriminate Ugandans. They speak different langues, they have different cultures but still they live together. In Rwanda, we have been instructed to use Tutsi, Hutu and Twa as ethnics and we ended up killing each other under such stupidity while we speak the same language, have the same culture etc..
      Now, there are categories of people who left Rwanda under so called refugees status:

      1. Economic refugees: Those are the one who went to find where it can be easier for them to do business than in Rwanda. Due to strict tax regulation and no rooms for non organised businesses in roads and everywhere they want, they found themselves without coping with the situation hence to leave the country.

      2. Ideologists: Those are refugees who still believe in genocide perpetrator’s ideology. They still believe one day they will come to finish what they have not finished in 1994. Among them, there are some who have legal cases like Gacaca etc… When they reach Uganda and other countries they say Rwanda government is after them hence they are sent in camps.

      3. So called political refugees: Those are the people who have been educated and who had some good positions in government. After being fired and having some legal cases on them, they chose to say the government is after them. This is where you will find influential people who mobilize money and people to overthrow the government. Most of them wanted to use the senior positions they had especially in five years after genocide to accumulate the wealth from low and middle class people using the ethnic card. When refused such criminal activities and with many complaints from the population, they had no choice other than fleeing the country. Theogene Rudasingwa, his brother Gahima are real examples.

      Moving forward, i urge some people not to bring the issue of refugees in Uganda camps because even genocide perpetrators have been released and live in society like other Rwandans. Does it mean Uganda doesn’t have refugees out of it boarders? I leave to Ugandans to respond. Finally whoever, who want to bring back the ethnic cards in Rwanda, doesn’t have a place in Rwanda and if he has to be kicked out of the country whatever the means, let it be so.

      PK as murder.
      It strange people calling PK a murder. I don’t agree with you but when it comes to national security concerns, there is no joke. Even M7 knows it better than anyone. Give him a drone and share a map where Joseph Kony is, tomorrow morning we have BREAKING NEWS. Let assume PK is a murder, we have seen people killed for three decades in Rwanda before the final solution in 1994, and we had high level of discrimination. Now, people are moving freely, children don’t know even what it means Hutu, Tutsi, Twa, they are studying for free, getting medical insurance, poor families are benefiting programmes initiated by PK and other patriots etc….

      Question and message to all dissidents:

      How would it look like if at least 50% of African presidents were like PK?

      Apart of ethnics cards you keep playing, please which are real development programmes you can bring to Rwandans where PK failed.

      Unless you have positive thinking, you will never have a chance to lead Rwanda. We can bet.

      • Too long but really little substance to this…. and stop conflating this with ‘development’ that’s just a smokescreen… what we are discussing is PK’s vindictive politics and his history of killing political adversaries and publicly gloating about it….he is on record doing that, not once, not twice…. that would be all well and good if it were confined to Rwanda…. but now it seems like Rwanda is keen on exporting its wars and murders abroad…. that cannot be allowed!

        • Greg, if the man is hunting down his “criminal country men” from your backyard, he is saving you the hell he went through! Don’t keep the criminals, the man will not hunt in your backyard, simple!

          • Joe K, you better keeep this stupidity in Rwanda. If you think you are going to export your thuggery to other countries you are crusising for a bruising!

      • Dear Yangon thx a lot for ur point of view it is full of truth well illustrated people need to understand the past of Rwanda since 1900-1962 and then 1962-1994 then from 1995 up to date that’s when we can only know the roots of the problems we are facing today we can only see the symptoms or the consequences president Paul kagame did and still doing the right thing for his country leave alone those who doesn’t want to face the reality and become the victim of history.the world should stop these standard measures to all nations we do hv different backgrounds and baselines every country should be dealing with her problems accordingly and that’s what Rwanda is doing hence the development in all aspects of life of Rwandese and the foreigners who live in Rwanda.

  30. Mr Kagame expects to be given leewaay to operate in Uganda as if he were operating in its own territory. He wants to be given the privilege to act as if he were Ugandan without being one. Many of his country men formerly of Uganda citizenship suffer from this schizophrenic affliction! A Ugandan citizenship hangover . The social and political access that accrued privileges to Rwandan exiles in Ugandan life cannot be switched on at will . Museveni does not have the kind of power over the Ugandan state that Kagame holds over Rwanda — he is massively constrained by numerous forces that he must bend to over Mr Kagame’s wining and petty internal beefs.

  31. 1.The screaming Headline in the papers indicating that M7 was ones of the best trans-formal leader in Africa has cost him alot thats why the likes of Kagame r not impressed.
    2.Rwanda and Russia have alot in common they disorganise statesmen with their pretty women and assassinate their opponents.Hope you all remember the nerve agent attack where Skripal and daughter were poisoned by Russian spys.
    3.Just like most civilized leaders,M7 always lets his opponents off the hook and moves on just like USA gave Juilan Assange a break.
    4.Kagame should give us a break with his mood wings.
    5.Ugandans have always had a low opinion about the Rwandans they think all they are a lazy lot,hypocrites and their women prostitutes perhaps that attitude towards the Rwandans is the one causing tension.

  32. Saddened Ugandan

    This article made me wonder, is Museveni “getting old”? That was my main concern when age limits were being removed, Ugandans and their president being subjected to the indignity of what Malawians and Kamuzu Banda suffered, Zimbabweans and Mugabe… there surely comes a time when age becomes a big factor in leadership abilities, and Museveni himself described overstaying in power as one of Africa’s problems. Did our parliament sell us and our president down the river by rubbishing the sane logic behind age limits?

    • Saddened Ugandan

      I’m just really disappointed that things have reached this far. Rwanda and Uganda are supposed to be brothers, friends, partners, driving forces for development in the region… now see the kind of things we are witnessing. Why do we have to witness things like borders being closed, a war of words. It really looks like a leadership issue, yet both leaders have been recognized in the past as people who can positively impact Africa’s destiny…. yet here we are, facing an escalating situation with no immediate solutions in sight. So sad.

      • Saddened Ugandan

        If Uganda and Rwanda were changing their leaders freely like Tanzania, would fears of “regime change” and any possible accompanying paranoia even be an issue? Now it’s become an issue that is causing two Pan Africanist leaders to engage in a war of words? Africans, we can do better really.

        • Saddened Ugandan

          Actually, both should handle fears of regime change the way Americans are investigating Russian interference in the election of Trump… internally. Manage sovereignty from within, knowing externally based forces will always have an interest. Anyways. We are tired of this kind of nonsense.

  33. Kagame is the president who loves his people. Rwanda is now the model of African development thanks to the leadership of Paul Kagame. This is an evidence that even the madman cannot deny. If we had two African presidents like him, Africa would be Europe. Unfortunately, some of our African brothers (among others Ugandan authorities) do not tolerate Rwandan success because of jealousy. The reason why they support the enemies of Rwanda including Kayumba and the genocidaires. But let him know that Rwandans and all his friends are ready to defend Rwanda. Nous aimons beaucoup le Rwanda et son president Paul Kagame……. Son ennemi est notre ennemi

  34. It’s a fact that Mzee looks at PK as son, but when you see Rwandan Refugees in Uganda, those seeking Political asylums and extra judicial killings. The chaos in Burundi being caused by Rwanda and cries that had locked DRC. There is a limit even a parent can take. But i think Rwanda is feeling the heat bz Mzee has started on correcting their errors for example DRC- Felix has publically said Mzee was behind his success and he freed all Political prisoners, Burundi- Piere Mzee is the main reason he still in Power.
    For once can Rwanda save us and resettle its refugees from Uganda before they start with their CROCODILE TEARS.

    My prayer is that God continues to give Mzee wisdom to continue render his services to Humanity.

  35. Is this really Mwenda writing, or has someone else “hacked” his column? The Mwenda I am used to would support contentions with names, places and figures. Take for example the statement:-

    “CMI has been detaining Rwandan nationals in illegal facilities, torturing and deporting them to Rwanda. CMI accuses these people of spying but has never produced them before courts of law.”

    Never mind the veracity or otherwise of this statement; wouldn’t the Mwenda we are used to give us some numbers, names, dates and places etc, as he is well informed? It is just not like A.M. to generalise and issue such grave accusations without providing supporting information; to expect us to take his word for it, on faith!

    And say, you forgot, and said not a word about alleged abductions of Rwandese refugees (Kagame’s opponents) from Uganda which is said to be contributing greatly to the bad blood between the two countries. Any truth in that?

    Andrew Mwenda, I hope all is well with you, brother!

    • Never mind the fact that he is regurgitating Kagame’s story hook, line, and sinker…. for example, how would A. M. be so sure that M7 has simply refused to listen to Kagame’s grievances yet even those of us with less privileged info have caught rumours of a vocal disagreement coming from M7 regarding Kagame’s ‘ultimatums’.

      This reads like such a bad hatchet job on behalf of the Kigali regime. Why Andrew would sink this low, the mind boggles.

  36. This is an overview;
    1)Pk has issues with uganda or mzeei. But he knows that what he is demanding is also over reaching especially in the diplomatic arena. The silence from mzeei is obviously not helping the situation. Because we need to visit kampalas reasons for not heeding to kigalis grievances.
    2)Unlike ykm, It is known that pk has high level and smart advisors such as Blair and mwenda among others. But he ignores that different actions even though based on the smartest advisory team can lead to catastrophic outcomes eventually and no hand in time to reverse those actions. Take for example the current brexit that seems to be the best option by those who were in the know, only for it to become much more complex agenda, bush and Obama Era also made such errors in judgement based on egos and dominance.
    3)closing the borders and deploying is clearly a military tactic or sending a message militaristically. Accusations by Kigali could be true but it is interesting when civilian rwandans start to also make noise. They don’t see how it’s highly possible that pk has been placing people in Uganda in all spheres that even an ordinary un-exposed ugandan can tell. By spheres go to the lowest such as bars, media, businesses to highs like statehouse and the security forces.
    All in all this matter seems to be more sensitive that what we hear from either sides may not be the actual truth but the icing

  37. while the arms merchants in their homes are smiling at the little storm in in an old teacup, i sincerely believe that the current crop of decision makers in both the media and the government can put a finger to what would make the two countries relate as states. It is important to look at the relationship between the two countries from the time of kept written records when Rwandan kings felt safe to flee into uganda up to the time the constitution recognized Banyarwanda as one of ugandan tribes. mark you the same did not apply to the congolese or sudanese or indians that have been part of this nation. As A person I have often asked myself why the Jewish people faced so much hatred centuries before the halocaust. Spain expelled them in the 1650s and the woes of the great depression of 1922 and afterwards was blamed on them. Today the actions of the Jews towards their Palestinian cousins is a case of great concern to any human being and least of all those who have been treated with subhuman experience . all this am trying to recall are the the communities in which pan nyarwanda peoples are neighbours or linked [i.e the Banyamulenge and Hema and the Balalo in Uganda evidenced with recent expulsions of herdsmen in Northern uganda, the Basongora in the Rwenzoris]. The president of uganda is the wrongman carrying the correct message but the times are his orst judge hence the arms dealers in Europe are assured of their place at the corporate table while Africas breed of new leaders scheme of how to smuggle a few spies in each others bedrooms. Did any one notice the cargo that was stuck at the closed border? CASSAVA CHIPS IN 2019.

    • Saddened Ugandan

      Cassava chips is also money. Remember how double happiness matchsticks from China enjoyed some good money from Ugandans for many years? But I thought that by now Volkswagen in Rwanda would have taken monopoly away from Toyota in Uganda. What happened?

    • Kambere, wabukiire? you seem to laugh at the cargo(quality) that is stuck at the border mbu because it is cassava chips. Know that Uganda and Rwanda share not only dry chips but also everything consumable including cooked(ready-to-eat) food as neighbours are wont to. The politician(s) who spoil this relationship should judged and punished by God….the only known impartial judge. Let us wait for him. You don’t play with 50million people and go scot-free as though they don’t have an OWNER. I know that from regularly-recurrent-unfailing-experience. I pity him and his mentor.

      • Saddened Ugandan

        Actually, three of my favourite food products come from Rwanda… Akabanga chilli oil, Akeza cassava leaves (isombe), and Agashya passion fruit concentrate. Simple packaging but excellent quality and great value for money. Now they want us to miss buying nice things from Rwanda, for what? By the way, the mistreatment of Rwandans in Uganda is not targeted at Rwandans only, even Ugandans are being arrested, detained without trial and tortured… the difference is that Ugandans can’t report their own authorities to their own authorities whereas Rwandans can report to their government. It’s not normal and cannot be excused (if it’s true) but I don’t think they are picking on Rwandans because it’s not only Rwandans suffering mistreatment from security people.

  38. Get the facts as they are given by the complainants. One of the first people to be arrested and tortured was Gasintzi who happens to be a friend of one Barnabas Taremwa (brother-in-law to Salim Saleh). This fellow claims he had come to Uganda to visit his son who studies in UCU.
    He was incarcerated in a private residence, tied on a metal bar and beat up well and proper for days by none other than RNC operatives together with CMI; then bundled in a vehicle and thrown across Katuna. His pictures from hospital were a sorry state and a disgrace to whoever was his host. They said he was spying on their activity of setting up a cell of overthrowing Kagame government. Could be he was and maybe they are. Now that is where all other arrests, known and unknown came to limelight. All those people cannot be lying and neither can the president pretend not to know or condone since Kagame says in broad daylight.
    It is said that a soldier never lies except to enemy. If it is so, then it implies by inference that either Museveni is not a soldier or Kagame is his enemy or both. Because even old soldiers are more soldierly than young ones. Have you heard Gen Kasirye Gwanga lying? Never. Real Generals never lie…..Amin never lied. Check the records.

    • Saddened Ugandan

      Jeje Odongo lied that illuminati is behind the murder of many women in Entebbe. Unless he thought he was telling the truth, but I’m not the only one who remains unconvinced. Honestly, that thing of being arrested, detained without trial and tortured (often while being forced to confess to the most random of accusations) has been happening in Uganda for a long time. Most of us have lost count of the number of such stories appearing in the local media with the same kind of horrific photos and videos that would make ordinary civilians cringe and weep. The Ugandan victims of illegal detention and torture who have appeared in the media are countless, but those are the rich ones or the famous ones… the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority just suffer indefinitely and when released, they must just process the trauma of being mistreated plus the trauma of pretending like nothing happened to them. I know it was especially bad during the days of Kayihura (Nalufenya made headlines but countless other places of torture remain active). Heavy handedness yet we still face roving and marauding criminal elements who evade justice. It’s sad that anyone should have to suffer illegal detention and torture, regardless of their nationality. What kind of freedom did these soldiers bring, after bragging that they saved us from panda gari, lala chini, and all the violent injustices associated with previous regimes? Remember what happened to mayor Byamukama? Bobi Wine? Francis Zake? These guys just want to stay torturing innocent people for nothing, regardless of nationality… in the name of security, as if that has helped improve security. We shall wear the victor’s crown.

  39. Mr. Kagame has to solve his problems with the dissidents who escaped assassination in South Africa. Adopt amnesty for rebels and form a broad-based government, absorb former rebels in order to neutralize them. Blaming Uganda will not help. Kayihura could have made mistakes, but his sacking probably gave way to the reduction or end of the kidnappings and assassinations in Uganda. If it is true that Kagame is afraid of dissidents being recruited from refugee camps in Uganda, he should follow the Geneva Convention and remember that refugees in the camps are registered and protected by UNHCR. Or doesn’t Rwanda host any refugees on humanitarian grounds? Uganda is already having a big burden of hosting refugees from the S. Sudan, DRC, Somalia, Burundi and Rwanda itself. Rwanda should know that hosting refugees from a neighbouring country is legitimate. It does not need to sour your relationship with your neighbour. Kagame himself was a refugee in Uganda, and was educated and trained by Uganda to work for Uganda. He later chose to return to his country and fought the war there and won it. Talk to the dissidents as Jakaya Kikwete had advised. It was not an insult. Museveni himself has talked to his former armed opponents. Nothing is impossible where there is dialogue. Closing the border and playing the “unfortunate jilt” will make things worse. Ugandan traders will soon find other markets for their goods, especially the food items. They should sell their food items to WFP to feed the refugees. Either way, they will still make profit.

  40. Saddened Ugandan

    After considering events over the last decade and reading this article again, I am disappointed by the author’s failed attempt to appear objective. As if this article was written at gunpoint? The author talks of “omugayo” yet fails to mention years of well documented blatant provocative disrespect shown by repeatedly undermining sovereignty and trust. You can’t fool all the people all the time.


    my dear friends, its only God that understands our hearts and the way we think. so let us put all our pray and trust in his hands. FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.


    If The Republic Of Rwanda was one time helped by The Republic Of Uganda, and the wrestling bulls are generals, then let us leave general issues for generals. For they know what they fighting for.

  43. Oh my God!

  44. Very captivating piece. Got me thinking about various issues raised.

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