Sources within Tanzanian army inform AfroAmerica Network that a high ranking officer within the Tanzanian army, known as Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces (TPDF), has disappeared and is believed to have defected to Rwanda. He is suspected to have defected with highly sensitive military intelligence.
The high ranking officer, with the rank of Lt Colonel, only known under the name of Selumbo, has disappeared as the relations between the Rwandan and Tanzanian governments are at a historical low (see our articles here, here, and here)
In recent days, the Tanzania Government has expelled thousands of illegal immigrants, the majority of whom are Rwandans. So far, Rwandan government officials have confirmed that more than 5,000 people and tens of thousand cattle have crosses into Rwanda. Thousands more chose to cross into the Mutukula border town of the Rakai District in Uganda, some saying that they fear repression if they were to return to Rwanda.
Following the expelling, medias close to the Rwandan government accused Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete of targeting Rwandan, even those with legal status, including Tanzanian citizens of Rwandan descent. Some medias went as far as to question the very citizenship of the Tanzanian president, alleging that he, himself, is a descendent of Burundians, since a Burundian citizen (see here).
Whether the defection of the TPDF high ranking is related to the deterioration of the relations between Tanzanian and Rwandan government, this latest incident and the rhetoric in Rwandan government controlled media may not help ease the tension between the two neighboring countries.
Already, in Tanzania, there are numerous rumors alleging that several military officers of Rwandan descent have already deserted and fled to Rwanda over the last two weeks.
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