Rwanda accuses Uganda of supporting rebels as relations sour

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Rwanda has accused Uganda of supporting rebel groups opposing President Paul Kagame as relations between the neighbouring countries continue to deteriorate.

Tensions between Rwanda and Uganda rose last week when Rwanda closed the border to Ugandan cargo trucks and travellers at the busiest crossing point between the two nations in Katuna. Now, Rwandan Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera is accusing Uganda of supporting two rebel groups attempting to overthrow the government of Paul Kagame.

Rwanda accuses Uganda of supporting rebel groups

Speaking at a news conference in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on Tuesday, Richard Sezibera told reporters that certain authorities in Uganda are supporting the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel groups – both of which operate in Uganda.

Rwandan Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera accused Uganda of offering support to two foreign-based Rwanda rebel groups — Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

“RNC and FDLR work from Uganda with support of some authorities there. This is another serious case and we have raised it with them,” he told reporters without specifying the authorities in question or the second “serious case” raised.

The RNC is a rebel group led by some of Rwanda’s most prominent opposition figures, including Kayumba Nyamwasa who now lives in South Africa. The RNC rejects the notion it is a rebel group, though – insisting it is a political party.

Meanwhile, the FDLR is partly comprised of former Rwandan soldiers and ethnic Hutu militias that fled from the country into the Democratic Republic of Congo after killing more than 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

Featured image: By DFID – UK Department for International Development – Flickr: Dr Richard Sezibera, GAVI board member, at the GAVI pledging event press conference, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16101904

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.