This is ChimpReports’ Daily Morning East Africa Intelligence Briefing.
The report gives readers an early morning grasp of what’s happening in the Great Lakes region.
The exclusive reports run from Monday to Friday.
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Kabila Welcomes Tshisekedi ahead of Today’s Inauguration
In his last national address as President of DRC, Joseph Kabila has welcomed the election of Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo and promised “full support” to his successor.
“I will gladly handover instruments of power to him,” said Kabila on national television on Wednesday night, adding, “Congo has come a long way.”
Urging the public to embrace the new leadership, Kabila said he was proud to oversee the first peaceful transition of power in DRC.
He said the election left an indelible mark in the Great Lakes region’s politics.
Tshisekedi will today be sworn-in as 5th President of DRC. Several leaders across Africa will grace the ceremony.
Meanwhile, the runner-up in the DRC polls, Martin Fayulu continues to lead protests in different parts of Kinshasa.
He said the election results were rigged in favour of Tshisekedi and has declared himself the legitimately elected president of DRC.
The Constitutional Court dismissed Fayulu’s petition challenging the outcome of the election results, saying the opposition candidate lacked evidence to support his claims.
Meanwhile, Kabila urged all progressive forces in the country to unite and protect the vast natural resources from being grabbed by foreigners.
Rwandan Minister Threatens Uganda: Your Provocation Will Stop
A firestorm raged on Twitter on Wednesday night after Rwandan State Minister in charge of the East African Community (EAC), Olivier Nduhungirehe accused Uganda of harassing Rwandans.
Ugandans reminded Nduhungirehe, who has previously been accused of “shooting from the hip”, that Uganda “housed, fed, trained and educated” millions of Rwandans who fled from their own during genocide and it was “sad” that Kigali was unappreciative.
It all started with Nduhungirehe posting on Twitter a page from New Vision which carried a story about the deportation of MTN Uganda Sales boss, Annie Bilenge.
“Apparently, walking and working in Uganda while Rwandan have become a crime,” said the controversial diplomat, adding, “The only activities allowed for Rwandans in Uganda seem to be plotting against their country, training forces for the Rwanda National Congress (RNC)/P5 and denouncing fellow Rwandans. This provocation will stop at some point.”
He added: “So, if I read well this article by the New Vision, one of the most compelling evidence against Annie Bilenge Tabura, former General Manager for Sales at MTN Uganda, arrested and deported from Uganda, is that she follows on Twitter “the Presidency of Rwanda and President Paul Kagame”!
Eric Kironde, a Ugandan, was quick to point out: “Is that what the article says? That one of the compelling evidence is being a twitter follower of Kagame? Or is it implied according to you?”
A one Nicholas Babigumira observed: “Please Ambassador, read the New Vision paper again… the fact that of all the information therein you chose to cherry pick…what about spying and tapping phones of Ugandan officials… Ambassador remember you have relatives here.”
But the most serious response came from Ugandan lawyer Hussein Kashillingi who wondered why Nduhungirehe was turning a crime case into a Rwanda-Uganda issue.
“A Rwandan, Frenchman and Italian were deported. Why are you making this a Rwanda-Uganda issue? Are you tweeting this in official capacity as the position of Rwanda or you are speaking as an ordinary Rwandan (which you are not)?” asked Kashillingi.
Nduhungirehe, who was previously stationed in U.S., responded: “Do they look Italians or Frenchmen for you? All (with many others) arrested with no familiar or consular access, many still held incommunicado, those released presenting signs of torture and injection of unknown substances. And my capacity is none of your business.”
Kashillingi, who served as the president’s legal aide, fired back: “You’re actually right, your business is not my business too. But don’t think you can simply say anything you wish about my country and I keep quiet. It then becomes my business.”
He further said Nduhungirehe, as a diplomat, needed to do more work to normalize the two countries’ relations.
Rwanda and Uganda’s ties have worsened in recent years due to counter accusations of espionage and threatening each other’s national security.
Efforts by both President Museveni and Kagame to mend ties are yet to bear fruit.
Twitter showdown between Rwandans and Ugandans underscored the need to intensify diplomacy to resolve outstanding bilateral problems.
Charles Kambanda, a Rwandan opposition figure in the Diaspora, said “Uganda is home to millions of Rwandans (I am not talking about Banyarwanda). Some of the people that have been kicked out of Uganda are known Rwandan assassins and/or spies. If it was Uganda v Rwanda issue, the government of Uganda would be targeting all Rwandans.”
A one Atto, posted on Twitter: “It was/is very myopic of you (Rwanda) to antagonize your only true friends, brothers, neighbors Uganda, and your special historical friend Museveni. You could have run your ugly espionage stuff in any other country but not your second home. Now that you have drawn first blood, be ready for consequences.”
U.S. Warns Sudan on Arrests, Torture
The United States has expressed concern about the increasing number of arrests and detentions, as well as the escalating number of people injured and killed, following four weeks of protests across Sudan.
“The United States supports the right of the Sudanese people to gather peaceably to voice their demands for political and economic reform and a more peaceful and inclusive Sudan,” the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday night.
“We condemn the use of violence, including the use of live fire, and the excessive use of tear gas by the Sudanese security forces.”
Hundreds have been killed since protests broke out in Sudan late last year.
Demonstrators want Bashir, who has ruled the country since 1989, to relinquish power for failing to manage the economy.
Washington said a new, more positive relationship between the United States and Sudan requires meaningful political reform and clear, sustained progress on respect for human rights.
“This must include prohibiting the security services’ use of arbitrary detention and excessive force against protesters, and ending the government’s harassment and intimidation of journalists, human rights defenders, political opposition, medical personnel, students, and other civil society actors,” the statement read.
Bashir, who claims foreign agents are destabilizing his country, maintains his government is not going anywhere.
U.S. urge the Sudan government to release all journalists, activists, and peaceful protesters who have been arbitrarily detained, and to allow those facing charges full access to legal representation and the opportunity to seek legal review of their detention.
“We also call on the government to allow for a credible and independent investigation into the deaths and injuries of protesters. Moreover, to address the legitimate grievances of the population, the government must create a safe and secure environment for public expression and dialogue with the opposition and civil society in a more inclusive political process.”