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Museveni stirs anger in Rwanda

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Jul 20, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    President Museveni’s speech during Rwanda’s 15th liberation anniversary at Amahoro Stadium on July 4 infuriated some senior officials of the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) who accused the President of Uganda of having exhibited his “good-old patronising and condescending attitude towards Rwanda.”Our sources say that in accusing the President of being patronizing and condescending, some RPF officers were not happy with the speech in which the President appeared to heap praise on the fallen first RPF leader, Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigyema, in the liberation of Rwanda.

    In his speech, the President mentioned Rwigyema’s name 11 times and that of Gen. Paul Kagame only three times. Rwigyema, a former deputy army commander of Uganda’s National Resistance Army (NRA) was the overall RPF leader at the time Rwandese refugees in Uganda invaded their homeland on October 1, 1990.

    He was killed the following day in a power struggle with Maj. Chris Bunyenyezi and Maj. Dr. Peter Bayingana as the invading force closed in on Kigali.

    Bunyenyezi and Bayingana who are believed to have been behind the plot to eliminate Rwigyema were also killed by pro-Rwigyema fighters. This sparked a bitter fight within the RPF that inevitably weakened the invading force that was then in the outskirts of Kigali – and was about to capture the city from the fleeing forces of President Juvenal Habyarimana.

    The death of the three most top RPF commanders encouraged Habyarimana’s forces to regroup and mount a fierce counter-offensive against the RPF whose forces were nearly annihilated. That forced Museveni to recall Kagame from the United States of America where Uganda had sent him for military training, to lead the scattered Tutsi fighters.

    But the official RPF version of the war portrays Kagame as the man who planned, led, and executed the mission from the start.

    The President told his audience after he was decorated by Kagame with two medals for his role in the war – that two Rwandan “youths,” Fred Rwigyema and Paul Kagame, were part of a group of 40 fighters that he led to attack Kabamba on February 6, 1981 to start a guerrilla war that brought him to power five years later.

    It appears that the President’s reference to Gen. Kagame as a youth was also not well received by some sections of RPF.

    “Fred Rwigyema kept telling me about their homeland—Rwanda from where they had been excluded by the sectarian regime that was in charge,” Museveni said in one of the 11 times he referred to Rwigyema.