Rwandan President Paul Kagame has once again hit at neighbouring countries, saying they are propping up rebel movements which aim at toppling his government.
“Some neighbours have tried to revive the threat posed by FDLR, RNC and other negative forces,” said Kagame in a New Year video message to Rwandans.
“This jeopardizes the otherwise good progress in East African integration as well as regional security,” he added.
FDLR comprises militants accused of committing the 1994 Rwandan genocide while Rwanda National Congress (RNC) is led by exiled Rwandan dissident General Kayumba Nyamwasa.
Kagame didn’t mention the countries he blames for helping Rwandan rebels.
However, in a protest note sent to Uganda in December 2017, Rwanda said its “most concerning” issue is the “facilitation of recruitment and travel in the region of Rwandans in possession of Ugandan travel documents, of whom are mostly from refugee camps in Uganda, for the benefit of the terrorist group known as Rwanda National Congress (RNC).”
Rwanda further added: “Information in our possession has revealed that this network has intentions to cross from Uganda into Tanzania and eventually end up in DRC in the RNC camps.”
Rwanda also has separately accused Burundi of helping FDLR arm and train its fighters to destabilize Rwanda.
Rwanda an ‘enemy country’
But Burundi says Rwanda organized and financed the failed coup against President Pierre Nkurunziza in Bujumbura in 2015.
Nkurunziza further declared Rwanda an “enemy country” of Burundi due to its “destabilizing activities” including training and facilitating Burundian dissidents in Rwanda.
Ugandan officials have quietly accused Rwanda of running sleeper cells which are regularly activated to kidnap Rwandan refugees for illegal repatriation and espionage.
The counter accusations among the regional leaders have since raised concerns about the region’s future stability.
Nevertheless, Kagame said he was not surprised by the alleged actions of one of Rwanda’s neighbours.
“For one of the neighbour, we expect it,” he said.
“However, we are surprised by another neighbor where the evidence we and which they must have shows clear complicity,” he added.
“This matter is being handled and we continue talking with our neighbours.“
This is the second time in a fortnight that Kagame is expressing concerns about neighbours threatening Rwanda’s security.
“We have two neighbors who don’t wish us well and two with whom we have no problems. But we will find a way to remedy that situation,” said Kagame at a meeting of the ruling RPF leaders in Kigali in December 22.
He also hinted on possible preparation for war.
“Our priority is good relations but it does not prevent us from being ready if things do not turn out as we hope,” he said.
In his New Year address today, Kagame expressed hope that the differences with regional countries would be resolved amicably.