Sunday, February 28We Break the News

EAST AFRICA: How Moi, Museveni dealt with rebel links

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Former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi died Tuesday morning in a Nairobi hospital after a long illness. Moi ruled Kenya for 24 years until 2002 when he retired.
As Moi was consolidating himself in power, a new bull in the neighbouring kraal emerged across the border – President Museveni.
Mr Museveni had been a student of leftist political view since his school days and associated with socialism yet Moi believed in capitalism. Both leaders accused each another of harbouring dissidents against either country.

The simmering conflict exploded in December 1987 when Kenya expelled two Ugandan diplomats. Prior to that, six Kenyan agents had been arrested on the Ugandan side of the border.
For months, the two leaders had traded accusations and in October 1987, security forces from the two neighbouring countries exchanged fire at Busia border.
Mr Museveni, whose army was fighting different dissident groups at the time, accused Kenya of aiding rebels opposed to his rule.

He counter-deployed Ugandan troops on the border to halt the suspected Kenya-supported guerrillas from making cross-border raids.
Mr Museveni said the Kenya-based rebels were killing civilians, including elected government councillors, and issued a list of suspected rebels whom Uganda said were using Kenyan territory to launch incursions into Uganda, a claim the Kenya government denied.

Moi, who was battling insurgents fighting his pro-West government, warned that any attempt by Uganda to send troops across the border would be met with fierce retaliation.
Over the years, Moi grew increasingly concerned about subversive activity in his country. He fought a clandestine internal group, known as Mwakenya, which he said was Communist inspired, and was worried that Libya could use Ugandan territory to destabilise his country.

Moi accused Uganda and Libya of plotting against his government, forcing him to expel six Libyan diplomats, including the charge d’affaires within six months, for alleged espionage.
Through his mouthpiece, The Kenya Times, Moi had accused Libyan troops of supporting Museveni’s forces in battles against Ugandan rebels in northern and eastern Uganda. Kenya also accused the Ugandan army of spying, abducting Kenyans and cattle rustling at the border.

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