“Rwandan President Paul Kagame must give up his delusional dreams of invading Tanzania. Otherwise, Tanzania will respond with full shock and awe force. … We will wallop him[General Kagame]. He[General Kagame] will be whipped like a small boy, “ Mr. Ally Mkumbwa , Acting Head of Government Communication Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Tanzanian media in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on Friday July 12, 2013.
Ally Mkumbwa was reacting to recent threats by Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame against Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete (see our article: I will Just Wait For You At the Right Place And I will Hit You, Rwandan General Paul Kagame Threatens Tanzanian Jakaya Kikwete of July 3, 2013)
“You know that unrest in DRC and Rwanda cannot end without both countries sitting down with their opponents to find a long lasting solution, ” Ally Mkumbwa added, saying that the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete had given his advice to the Rwandan dictator in good faith.
The Tanzanian official reiterated the stand of the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, stand that has since been supported by South African Development Community (SADC) (see our article here), the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and the Belgian Government (see our article here). The stand is that the Rwandan government should meet with its armed opposition in order to bring durable peace and security in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region Africa.
Military showdown between Rwandan Defense Forces and Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces To begin soon.
Despite denials from both the Rwandan and the Tanzanian government officials, a military showdown between the armies from the two countries will soon start. According to sources within both the Tanzanian and the Rwandan governments, the two sides have been preparing for war and are bracing for a military confrontation. The sources told AfroAmerican Network that the two armies will face off in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo through proxies: The Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces as the main component of the UN Intervention Brigade and the Rwandan Defense Forces as the backbone of the M23 Congolese rebels.
“The Rwandans[Special Forces] are excited right now and are saying that they will hit these Tanzanians and teach them a lesson they will never forget, ” a source within M23 rebels working with Rwandan Defense Force Special Forces embedded within M23 Rebels in Eastern DRC told AfroAmerica Network.
“The Rwandans [Special Forces] are saying that Tanzanians do not remember how to fight and will be routed without a fight,“ another source within M23 rebels told AfroAmerica Network.
Whether these bravados will translate into real action or not, Eastern DRC may soon be the center of a power play between Tanzanian Jakaya Kikwete and the Rwandan General Paul Kagame and a place where the two may finally get even.
Appeal for Calm.
While the rhetoric has escalated between Tanzanian and Rwandan officials, some Tanzanian officials have tried to appease the emotions. Recently, in front of the Tanzanian Parliament, the Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Membe said that President Jakaya Kikwete’s recommendation for direct talks between the Rwandan government and its armed opposition was just an advice that General Kagame was free to accept or reject but that the Tanzanian government stands by that recommendation.
“President Jakaya Kikwete will not apologise to Rwanda or change his stand that the Rwandan government should negotiate with rebels. There is no way the Head of State could apologise for saying the truth and stating a fact, “ Bernard Membe said on June 2, 2013.
Tanzanian opposition leaders have also supported the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete’s recommendations but asked that other regional leaders intervene to calm the situation. One these opposition leaders is Zitto Kabwe, Deputy chairman of the leading opposition party, CHADEMA. Zitton Kabwe said:
“If you don’t want advice you simply refuse, why start hurling insults? You don’t want advice, that’s it. Why petty insults? Since Kikwete said what he said in Addis, he never spoke of it again. Membe (Foreign Affairs Minister) replied in Dodoma and Tanzania didn’t say anything afterwards. Why is Kigali still going on about this?
Comparing Rwandan armed opposition to Taliban and Al Qaeda? Nonsense. Children born in 1994 and Hutu refugees in Congo, are they killers too? Let us think very carefully on this. Indeed if there are genocidaires, they should be pursued, arrested, tried and convicted. But the majority are people who have the full rights to participate in the politics of their country Rwanda. They have been prevented from doing so by the current government of Rwandan and hence, have resorted to arms. With these people, the Rwandan government must sit …sit at the negotiation table, hold direct talks, and come to an agreement.
There is no need for the two countries to go to war against each other. We have other wars to fight, such as poverty.
Neutral leaders like Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta should mediate between Kagame and Kikwete and help them iron out their differences.”
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