The cold war between Uganda and Rwanda, originating from the exploitation of Congo’s natural resources and personal rivalries between the two Heads of State: Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Paul Kagame, risked turning into a real conflict four days ago.
The information is partial and confusing. Four days ago, two MIG fighters of the military aviation received the order to carry out an air raid on Rwandan territory. The order would come from the Presidency. A few seconds before entering Rwanda’s airspace, the UPDF General Staff aborted the military operation by ordering the pilots to return to base. If the raid had been carried out, it would have immediately triggered a conflict between the two countries.
How to interpret this serious episode?
The war avoided at the last minute contradicts the official diplomatic relations that would be directed towards the end of the cold war between Kampala and Kigali and the strengthening of economic collaboration and the common management of regional security.
On 30 September, the common stock exchange between Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda was born. The three countries of the East African Community (EAC) have decided to join forces to carry out the joint financial project promoted and financed by the World Bank which aims to electronically link regional equity markets. Investors from the three countries and foreign investors will be able to buy and sell shares of company shares in the three stock exchanges, reducing costs and negotiation times.
Yesterday, Wednesday 7 October, the online summit was held between the heads of state of Angola, Congo, Rwanda and Uganda who discussed issues of peace, security, diplomatic and political relations. Regional. The summit was initially supposed to be held on 17 September in Goma (North Kivu – Congo). It was postponed following Burundi’s refusal to participate. Refusal also confirmed yesterday.
Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi expressed his willingness to restore relations between Kinshasa and its neighbors in an attempt to pacify the region and end decades of conflict, particularly in the eastern region of the country, rich in minerals, ravaged by years of violence.
Tshisekedi, Joel Loureno, Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni said they wanted to eradicate the armed groups operating in the Great Lakes region and, above all, in the DRC, expressing their desire to “strengthen existing sub-regional mechanisms in order to cut off negative funding sources. A priority is therefore to jointly fight against the regional and international mafia networks that contribute to the exploitation and illicit trade of natural resources in the Great Lakes sub-region ”.
The summit discussed the need to strengthen police, intelligence and financial control mechanisms on “negative sources of funding”. Priority was given to the joint fight against regional and international mafia networks that contribute to the exploitation and illicit trade of natural resources in the Great Lakes sub-region ”. A number one priority given that the region is subject to heavy infiltration attempts by two Italian criminal organizations: Mafia and Camorra. Both would use “their man” and Burundi as a springboard to enter the illegal Congo market for precious minerals (which President Tshisekedi intends to block) and international money laundering.
The Ugandan President is playing on planes of reality. The official one full of good intentions and the “underground” one made of intrigues, I support regional terrorism, attempts to destabilize the current government of Kigali.
In contrast to balancing the Luanda – Kigali – Kinshasa axis, determined to strengthen regional peace through radical political change in Burundi, Museveni convinced his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli to renew his support for the Burundian regime HutuPower. The Great Old Man (Museveni) through unconditional support for the Burundian regime intends to hit Paul Kagame. At the same time, it supports Rwandan rebel formations including the genocidal forces of the FDLR severely attacked in eastern Congo.
Once again the Burundian crisis is the epicenter of regional instability. The air raid would have highlighted the growing conflict between President Museveni and the UPDF army, made up of about 30% of Rwandan Tutsis naturalized Ugandans. The UPDF has no intention of starting a conflict with the “Rwandan brothers”. Some regional observers point out that the apparent senseless act of the air raid was aimed at creating a de facto situation and forcing the leaders of the Armed Forces to support a full-blown military conflict.
A conflict that would have been aimed at overthrowing President Kagame and his government and, at the same time, postponing the presidential elections in Uganda scheduled between December 2020 and January 2021, where the difficulties of increasingly unpopular Museveni are now clear. The recall of the two MIGs by the Ugandan General Staff could be the prelude to a twist at the top of the presidency. Historically, all presidents in Uganda have been removed by manus military. Both governments (Kampala and Kigali) have chosen not to make the military incident public, effectively imposing censorship on their media.
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