This final week of June 2010 I learnt from the Monitor that Rwandan troops were being deployed at the border with Uganda, probably for another show of military might or other venture as Paul Kagame strategically uses such tactic whenever confronted with political problems. With time, people have come to realize his modus operandi in difficult periods. He avoids fronts he knows he can easily loose and takes his energy to battlefields where he can comfortably win whatever the human cost. You would probably be leading on one of such fronts if you were still in good favors with him. The deployment could also mean something else. As the Election Day nears, those many among Rwandans who would like to flee increasing insecurity through the Ugandan border may not find any way out. This would confirm what most people say of the country as a prison difficult to escape from, views also shared at some extent by organizations such as International Refugee Rights Initiative, Refugee Law Project, and Social Science Research Council, in their joint research report, ‘A Danderous Impasse: Rwandan Refugees in Uganda.’
General, you seem to be a serious threat to his feeling good mood, especially when he treats his detractors and opponents, as useless and worthless. Because of that he wants you dead. He just attempted once. He missed. Maybe you will be luckier than others like Seth Sendashonga, his ex-minister of interior affairs that he killed in Nairobi on the second attempt of assassination. I assume you already know, while you recover from his messenger’s shots, that Jean-Leonard Rugambage, editor of the banned Rwandan newspaper Umuvugizi, didn’t have a second chance. The fact of investigating on who may be behind the attempt of assassination on your person was fatal for him. His killer’s gun didn’t jam. Several shots at the head and heart couldn’t leave him alive.
Contrary to your killer’s wish, most Rwandans would like to see you alive than dead. You shared criminal responsibilities with Kagame, your today’s declared enemy, this according to Spanish and French judges, and of course thousands of Rwandans that your military expeditions have made orphans, widows, destitute, and refugees. Your death doesn’t serve Rwandans but Kagame’s only interests, because with it he can close one of the windows of possible reconciliation between them.
As a military man, you may have had to obey orders blindly, decimating everything alive in some places. Only those who miraculously survived your military expeditions, tell of your triumphs. Even you acknowledge yourself how worthy was what you were doing then through an interview you gave to BBC while in mission. If you die without telling Rwandans, Hutus and Tutsis, how far you disagreed with what Paul Kagame got you involved in unwillingly, people will only remember what you will have left them to contemplate, only a sort of personal enmity between you and him.
Before fleeing you explained that your RPF peers requested from you to ask for forgiveness for things you disagreed with. You then decided to leave Rwanda. Knowing how the system works you passed through its control mechanisms and found yourself outside the country. I wonder if you had to ask for forgiveness what it would be for. What your RPF colleagues were asking you would’ve apparently been for the wrong reasons. Would you ever consider that the victims of your military expeditions from 1990 until the time you left the soldier career were not necessary and that there were some other possibilities?
As an exiled Rwandan and Tutsi, you helped Joweri Museveni, the Ugandan President, to get into power. Tactic used implied killing thousands of civilians. Today 24 years after Museveni has become a notorious dictator who is far away from leaving power. The same tactics were again used in Rwanda. They were later exported in Democratic Republic of Congo. Today 16 years after 1994, Kagame the colleague you helped to get where he is now is described by the Economist as the worst dictator the African continent has ever had.
Following your downfall from Kagame’s regime, there are emerging voices which think that you could lead another armed movement for the liberation of Rwanda. That would be one of the reasons that Kagame wants you dead. But I don’t personally think Rwandans need other sacrifices in thousands on the battle fields. They long for democracy, for freedom of speech, justice and development. As you will reckon with me, none of these concepts has ever taken root wherever you passed, though everything was loudly claimed to be done in their name. There are others who think you could be of some help in a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. So far, in all your declarations, there seems to be rather a personal vendetta against Kagame than a much broad concern for Rwandans.
I sincerely wish you good and speedy recovery. Before he catches you next time I would like you think of the best way you could help Rwandans, all ethnic groups inclusively. Otherwise, your premature death, as of millions before you in the Great Lakes region, could be vain for the victims of your military expeditions and those you rightly thought you were fighting for.