Ugandan news tabloid Known as Chimpreports on Thursday published an article entitled “EXCLUSIVE: Tension Flares as Rwandan Soldiers Cross into Uganda”, According to Rwandan news media the writer used quotes from “unsubstantiated sources” to sell a narrative that Rwandan soldiers enter Ugandan territory in search of drinks, food and cigarettes.
One of the statement/paragraph inside the post went as; “…after taking their drinks, they walk back to Rwanda”. The above statement astonished one of the writer who said;
“Really? Rwandan soldiers, wearing military uniform and carrying guns and ammunition would go all the way to Kisoro inside Uganda?” The reporter went ahead to question the credibility of the article and the author;
“Equally funny is how the so-called source, instead of informing UPDF or area Uganda police of the purported presence of Rwandan soldiers on Ugandan territory, opted to report to a journalist!”
Rwandan media regarded the article as cheap propaganda and it demonstrated irresponsibility on the part of the author and the media house.
He wondered what is really on the Ugandan side of the border that cannot be found in Rwanda that would entice Rwandan soldiers to enter Uganda in utter violation of immigration rules.
Questioned if the author’s intention was to insinuate that there is lack of supplies in Rwanda and, as such, soldiers have to seek these in Uganda?
“Let me just remind the publication that they should care more for supplies of UPDF, which are in shortage and leave Rwanda Defence Force alone.” He said
“As the author probably knows, Rwandan soldiers are well taken care of, from what they need to eat to clothing, let alone accommodation.” He added
According to Rwandan writers, the author’s claims that RDF soldiers were sighted in Kisoro are unfounded and are only aimed at selling a narrative to Ugandans that their territory is being infiltrated by Rwandan soldiers.
This also made them raise suspicions that the author could be laying ground for the Ugandan military so that when they loot peoples’ property – for which they have a reputation – it will then be attributed to Rwandan soldiers.
Silas Rwamurangwa the author of the article in Rwandan New Times went ahead to remind the Rwandan readers that he very well remembers how in September 2018, a group of UPDF officers attached to Queen Elizabeth National Park grabbed game meat from lions, after a successful hunt by the cats.
As narrated by an eyewitness, UPDF soldiers chased the lions off their prey and carried the carcass back to their barracks.
Meanwhile, the article further claims that since last year, Rwanda deployed its military along the Ugandan border as the two countries’ relations worsened amid counter accusations of espionage, economic sabotage and supporting rival armed movements operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The story continues to point out that Uganda is yet to deploy soldiers along the border with Rwanda, a move officials reportedly said is “part of President Museveni’s effort to avoid the escalation of the conflict.”
The author went ahead to label ignorance on the chimpreports writer, whether deliberate or out of ignorance, why he did not mention UPDF’s deployments along the border with Rwanda and how the Ugandan military has reinforced its Second Division under the Command of Brig Kayanja Muhanga, which has its headquarters in Mbarara District.
According to him it is common knowledge in Rwanda that the UPDF’s Second Division that has two brigades – 309 and 401 – has since November 2018 adjusted its deployments.These two brigades have moved deployments towards the border with Rwanda.
When concluding the article he said:
“If the Ugandan website was interested in truth these are facts they should have laid bare, instead of fabricating an imaginary story of Rwandan troops amassing along the border and occasionally crossing into Uganda.”