TensionS Between Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Rwandan General Paul Kagame Escalate
Over the recent weeks, Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) troops have been secretly deploying along the border with Rwandan neighbor to the East, The United Republic of Tanzania, sources in Tanzania tell AfroAmerica Network.
According to the sources, RDF elite forces have been digging trenches in the bushes of the Rwandan Akagera National Park and other areas in Rusumo, under the cover of the nights.
“The troops become active as evenings fall, dig the trenches overnight and disappear before sunrise”, the sources added.
The situation has so much worried the Tanzanian leaders that they sent a special messenger to Rwandan President Kagame, warning him about dire consequences if he continues troops buildups.
On February 8, 2014, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete sent his Minister of State at the Office of the President, Professor Mark Mwandosya, to deliver a message, that sources say contained a strong language, to General Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
Professor Mark Mwandosya’s delegation, that also included the Tanzania Acting Ambassador to Rwanda, Francis Mwaipaja, also met, while in Rwanda, the Rwandan Minister of State, Office of the President of Rwanda, Venantie Tugireyezu and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo.
A few days earlier, Francis Mwaipaja, had published an open letter, accusing Rwandan media close to the government of seeking to undermine the diplomatic relations between Tanzanian and Rwandan governments.
The Rwandan government funded media, including News of Rwanda and New Times, had published articles alleging that Rwandan opposition leaders had travelled to Tanzania, invited by the Tanzanian Government, and met the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.
According to AfroAmerica Network sources, some Rwandan oppositions did travel to Tanzania, on their own and with business visas, but did not meet Tanzanian government officials.
Sources close to Rwandan government confirmed the content of the strong message by the Tanzanian Government to General Paul Kagame. According to the sources, the Tanzanian government delegation warned General Paul Kagame against further troops buildup along the border and asked that those already there be redeplayed far from the border.
“The Tanzanian government will not stand idle if the Rwandan troops are not redeployed,” the sources say Professor Mark Mwandosya warned the Rwandan government.
According to the sources both in Tanzania and in Rwanda, it appears that if Rwandan Government does not redeploy its troops and the tension escalates, the region may soon find itself yet in an another war, pitting General Paul Kagame’s troops against troops of a neighboring state.