Uganda’s elite armed forces will stay in the barracks in areas along the Rwandan border despite deployment of Rwandan soldiers in hills overlooking Kabale and Ntungamo districts.
Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Richard Sezibera recently said his country reserved the right to deploy troops anywhere in the country but that it had not stationed soldiers at the border with Uganda.
“I find no issue in Rwanda deploying troops anywhere on her territory,” said Sezibera, adding, “There’s no problem if Rwanda did anything to protect its territorial security but it has not been done. But I want to assure Rwandans that they are safe.”
However, an investigation by ChimpReports showed that Rwandan soldiers especially Special Forces were stationed in or around Kamwezi, Maziba, Rubaya, Matanda and Gatuna Town Council.
Ordinarily, Uganda would have responded by covering the south western belt with heavy equipment and elite military units as a precautionary measure.
In December 2017, Uganda sent hundreds of heavy military equipment and soldiers to western Uganda in anticipation of an attack by the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in DRC.
UPDF would later use long-range artillery to shell ADF positions, sending surviving combatants into disarray.
According to commanders who participated in this military action against ADF, the rebels had laid ambushes in DRC to take out UPDF soldiers if President Museveni had implemented the planned ground assault.
But then DRC leader, President Joseph Kabila, who had allowed Uganda to attack ADF, did not give the final green light to UPDF to allow in soldiers to carry out mop-up operations against ADF.
Therefore, it was expected that given Rwanda’s deployment and late last year’s live fire military exercises and maneuvers, Museveni would ask Special Forces to rush to the border.
However, this investigative website has learnt that Museveni instead directed the UPDF leadership to ensure “soldiers stay in the barracks.”
An official who spoke to us in confidence as this is a sensitive matter, said UPDF hopes the dispute between Rwanda and Uganda that recently culminated in the closure of Gatuna border, would be resolved.
As of today Friday, UPDF maintained its position – barracks.
A source said Museveni was recently asked whether he was not worried of a surprise attack by Rwandans to which he said “any issues with Uganda’s neighbours would be resolved diplomatically.”
Defence spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire was not readily available for comment when contacted Friday afternoon.
However, Kabale Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Darius Nandinda, recently told ChimpReports that the border area is free of Ugandan soldiers.
“All I can tell you is that we haven’t made any deployment. And there is no tension,” Nandinda.
“On the security aspect, we are covered. There is no need to worry,” he emphasised.
The tension between Uganda and Rwanda has raised prospects of possible military confrontation.
Rwandan diplomats say they’ve written dozens of diplomatic notes to Kampala which are yet to be responded to.
Rwanda accuses Uganda of helping dissident General Kayumba Nyamwasa to train rebels in DRC with the motive of toppling President Paul Kagame, a charge Uganda dismissed as baseless.