Reading a couple of recent articles on the latest upsurge of the civil conlict in the Central Africa Republic (I understand if you hadn’t heard anything was happening there), and an interesting New York Times piece on the militarization of poaching in central Africa, led me to reflect once again on the fascinating interconnection that exists between the various armed groups across Sub-Saharan Africa. Here’s a quick, dirty and non-exhaustive glance.
CAR, Chad and the Sudans
We’ll start with the CAR, as it’s topical. The northern rebels (currently going by the trade name ‘Seleka’, which in a local language means ‘The Alliance’) are quite literally that- a hodge-podge of armed gangs, guns-for-hire, militia representing disenfranchised communities (mostly northern), and bolstered by rebels who have come into the north from their neighbour Chad.
Chad has been a breeding ground for militant activity for the better part of 20 years and longer. Current
Strongman President Idriss Deby seized power in the early nineties, launching from his home base in the far reaches of eastern Chad (Bahai) on the Sudanese border. His ethnic Zagawa militia swept across the country in a series of bloody battles, the remnants (tanks, shells, landmines, technicals) of which are still scattered across the landscape today.
Deby’s rise to power was supported by armed groups within Sudan. His ethnic group- the Zagawa- are on both sides of the border, in eastern Chad and in Darfur, western Sudan, and his coup d’etat was backed by Khartoum. Various rebel groups sprung up as a result of his seizure of power- which was brutal both from a military perspective, and from the reprisals wrought on the civilian population.
From 2002, two major rebel groups in Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) became prominent in Darfur, fomenting an armed uprising against the Khartoum government. The Zagawa formed one of the prominent ethnic constituents of the rebellion, and Chad was implicated. Tensions with Khartoum quickly soured. Cross-border raids by the Khartoum-backed Janjawid militia took place into Chad. It became clear that rebel groups were using refugee camps in eastern Chad as an opportunity to rest, recuperate, and stage new attacks against government forces.
From 2005, a fresh impetus of rebellion against Deby began, with implications clear that the renewed support was coming from Khartoum, in response to Chadian support for Darfur rebel groups. Twice, once in 2006, and later in 2008, rebels (the same, or allied to those, as those now pushed into CAR) pushed all the way across the desert and showed up on the outskirts of N’djamena- where they were eventually supressed. In both instances, the government of Sudan was blamed. Interestingly, the attack was eerily similar to one carried out, also in 2008, by Darfur rebels, who pushed across the desert all the way to Omdurman, on the edge of Khartoum, before being overcome. Khartoum claimed the forces were essentially Chadian, and blamed N’djamena for arming the group. Tensions between the two countries remain tense.
The uprising in Darfur itself was a complex issue, based on similar complaints to those leveled by the southern Sudanese rebels, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)- a combination of economic marginalization, Islamicization, the centralization of government control, and access to resource rights and profits. Indeed, the rebellion echoed that of the north-south civil war, quite literally: Throughout the history of the Darfur conflict, rebel activity has followed from gains and advances made in the peace deals with the southern rebels (now an independant state). Essentially seeing the SPLA’s rebellion as ‘successful’, they resorted to a similar model for their own resistance against Khartoum, and as gains were made by the SPLA at the negotiation table, so military pushes could be mapped by Darfur rebels, trying to get Khartoum’s attention and force concessions in their own deals.
As well as using conventional forces in both the Darfur and north-south civil war, Khartoum has always espoused using proxy forces- militia groups that it arms and supports, but with whom there is a measure of deniability- particularly when they terrorize the civilian populace with torture, killings and ethnic cleansing. The best-known of these groups is the Janjawid, horse-backed ‘Arab’ militia allegedly stocked by, among others, prisoners released by Khartoum. The Janjawid carried out indiscriminate killing of civilians and the burning of villages, essentially forcing up to 4 million people from their homes in Darfur between 2003 and 2005. However the use by Khartoum of Arab horsemen in subduing and slaughtering agrarian villagers was well documented during the 1983-2005 civil war as well (the Murahaleen). Various different proxy militias- including previously southern-allied armed groups enticed to break away from the SPLA- were employed by Khartoum. Likewise, the SPLA (itself a fragile agglomeration of warlords and their private armies) employed similar tactics on northern soil.
The SPLA itself received backing from external sources. More strongly identified with East Africa than with the north African/Arab culture associated with Khartoum, the south Sudanese at the time found natural allies in Kenya and, notably, Uganda. Both nations hosted large refugee camps of southern Sudanese, who eventually formed an influential diaspora in those nations. This quiet support was further strengthened by Cold War politics. NATO interests in Sudan’s oil reserves (at the heart of the civil war) had it come down on the side of the south, and backing was funneled via the former British colonies of Kenya and Uganda, both of which helpfully became bases for the large western-funded aid operation as well.
Museveni, Bashir, Garang, Kagame and Kony
While Uganda was providing a channel of support to the SPLA, Khartoum’s response was to engage with its well-established tactic of using proxy militias. The technique depends on identifying existing divides within the target community, and exploiting those accordingly. In Uganda, an obvious candidate was a northern-based and highly disgruntled Acholi rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which would come to be led by a sociopath called Joseph Kony and become infamous for its use of child soldiers, and horrendous crimes against civilians. Over the years, Khartoum’s backing of the LRA became common- if scantily-proven- knowledge. In doing so, Khartoum kept Museveni’s forces and military investment wrapped up at home, reducing the extent to which Uganda was free to invest in creating an ally on its northern borders in the SPLA. The LRA remained a major destabilizing force in northern Uganda from the early eighties and into the first half of the first decade of the new millenium- eerily echoing the timescale of the Sudanese civil war. Since 2005, they have been vastly reduced in capacity and influence, carrying out few attacks (despite an over-the-top web campaign suggesting the contrary), and pushed variously into pockets of South Sudan (where they were enemies of the SPLA), DRC and, now, CAR, where they are being hunted by a contingent of Ugandan troops and US Special Forces.
The links between Uganda’s Museveni and the SPLA’s Garang are well established- Garang died flying in one of Museveni’s helicopters after returning from a meeting in Uganda, the purpose of which is still unknown. While Museveni was providing backing to the SPLA, he was also supporting another regional warlord (who would one day also become President of his nation), Paul Kagame. Kagame, inspired by Museveni’s first insurgent campaign against Idi Amin, joined Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA) in 1981, and fought alongside him in that second insurgency against Milton Obote. For a time, the Rwandan refugee served in Museveni’s government as head of military intelligence, before taking the leadership of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebel group that prior to 1994 launched a long, violent and militarily highly successful insurgency campaign against the Hutu-dominated Rwandan government. The RPF had bases in southern Uganda, and received backing from the Ugandan government. Both Kagame and Garang studied at US military institutions during periods of their respective exiles, and Kagame also received intelligence training in Tanzania.
Hutus, Tutsis and Africa’s World War
The RPF’s campaign- which included massacres of Hutu civilians that remain under-acknowledged to this day- kicked into overdrive following the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and the subsequent slaughter of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus that followed over the subsequent 100 days. A strong military force, their overthrow of the Hutu military establishment is lauded as a spectacular acheivement- indeed there are allegations that were it not for French intervention on behalf of the former Rwandan government, the RPF would have taken Rwanda in the years preceeding the 1994 genocide. Regardless, Kagame’s RPF did eventually take control of the country, and Kagame remains President to this day.
The fallout of the RPF victory was the flight of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Hutus, among whom were the genocidaires– the architects and footsoldiers of the massacres. These fled into eastern DRC, into camps and into the jungles and villages. While the violence between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda had largely come to a close, it continued in various guises in eastern DRC, and does-so to this day, between various splintered militia groups. These groups generally share alliances that can be broadly categorized as pro-Hutu or pro-Tutsi (although names and divisions shift as you cross the border) in a highly complex and shifting patchwork of old allegiences and new grievances.
The most far-reaching consequence of the Rwandan civil war for the DRC showcased the phrase ‘when Rwanda sneezes, Congo catches a cold’. Laurent Kabila, a pro-Tutsi rebel fighter who cut his teeth following Congolese liberation in the 1960s, re-emerged in 1996 to front the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL), an overtly Uganda-, Rwanda- and Burundi-backed group that would eventually force despot Mobutu into exile and lead to Kabila’s presidency from 1997.
In all of this, it’s quite interesting to note that Kabila, Kagame and Garang all had close relationships with Museveni, who faciliated relationships between the men. Also interestingly, during his own rebellion to seize control of Uganda in the mid-80s, Museveni had actually approached Mobutu for military assistance, but Mobutu had been training troops loyal to the then-government of Uganda, which would go some way to explaining Museveni’s eagerness to support anti-Mobutu forces in DRC.
Nowhere was this interplay between various central African forces demonstrated- and with remarkably low profile- than during the Second Congo War. Dubbed ‘Africa’s World War’, it involved the overt engagement of no less than seven African nations. Following the initial installation of Kabila on the back of a Tutsi-allied army, backed by Rwandan, Burundian and Ugandan forces during 1996-7, their heavy presence in DRC subsequently forced Kabila to request their withdrawl or look like a Kagame puppet (not an unreasonable concern). Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian forces piggybacked a Tutsi revolt in north-eastern DRC (Goma) in 1998, aiming to unseat Kabila (and no doubt install a more acquiescent puppet), and would likely have been successful were it not for the direct involvement of Chadian, Angolan, Zimbabwean and Namibian troops. Libya and Sudan were both indirectly supportive of the Kabila government as well- Sudan did not engage directly, but did continue to fund its proxy militias to worry Uganda, including the LRA. (Interestingly, the support of the Angolan government came as a result of Mobutu’s backing of the UNITA rebels during that country’s nasty civil war; the government victors were keen to repay the debt by ensuring that Mobutu stayed out).
The fallout of this interplay of regional actors continues to this day, with north-eastern Congo becoming something of a lush, mineral-rich carcass over which a patchwork of militias fought- and continue to fight. During the Congo conflict, Ituri and Kivus North and South played host to an orchestra of militia on both sides of the conflict, including the anti-Rwandan militias the FDLR, the Mai Mai, the RDR and the ALiR, as well as the remnants of the genocidal Interahamwe and other Hutu groups. Allied to them were anti-Burundian groups CNDD and FROLINA. On the other side of the coin were the pro-Rwandan groups the RCD and RCD-GOMA, the ethnically Tutsi Banyamulenge, and the pro-Ugandan militias MLC, UPC and other pro-Tutsi groups. Since that time, this murderous alphabet soup has aligned, split, rebelled, splintered and reformed into a variety of coagulating movements, all squabbling for a piece of the eDRC pie. Most recently, the takeover of Goma by the M23 rebel group (with ostensible backing from both Rwanda and Uganda) signifies that this regionally-interwoven conflict is by no means over. The tension for Joseph Kabila, who replaced his father after Laurent’s assassination, is that the regime he inherited was essentially installed by a pro-Tutsi coalition which expected to dominate the subsequent political landscape. By rejecting this, both Kabilas find themselves fighting against the very group that put them in power. Meanwhile, the Hutu-Tutsi conflict that reached such a bloody crescendo in 1994 in Rwanda has merely been exported a few dozen miles over the border into what is in effect a disputed territory, irrespective of lines on the map (and with horrendous consequences for the population; the 800,000 who lost their lives in the 1994 genocide have had as many as two and a half million added to their number from the forests of DRC since then).
I’m not even going to try to list the latest iteration of rebel groups and their alliances in east DRC currently.
The oft-forgotten child of the Great Lakes region, Burundi, is no less intertwined with regional conflicts. Stepping back a decade or two, it is riven by the same Tutsi-Hutu divide that Rwanda and east DRC are, and was a little-mentioned but insperable part of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Indeed, new Burundian President and ethnic Hutu Cyprien Ntaryamira was in Habyarimana’s plane the night it was shot down, and died alongside his Rwandan counterpart. Tit-for-tat ethnic killings between Tutsis and Hutus, which had been ongoing for decades, reaching a crescendo in 1993 when Ntaryamira’s predecessor Ndadaye (a Hutu) was assassinated by disgruntled Tutsi soldiers- preceeding both the Ntaryamira/Habyarimana assassination and the Rwandan genocide. Indeed the Tutsi-Hutu killings in Burundi in the lead up to May 1994 provided fuel to the genocidal fire, and the presence of Burundian Tutsi refugees in large numbers in southern Rwanda proved to be a destabilizing (and fear-evoking) influence that leant credence to the genocidaire case, as well as proving a ripe recruiting ground for Kagame’s RPF.
Conflict in the Horn
A pivotal nation less directly implicated in its neighbour’s conflicts, but none the less indirectly involved, is Kenya. At the time of its engagement in southern Somalia in 2011, its claim was that it had never before fielded its army (a claim to which some truth was subsequently demonstrated in its fairly inept tactical handling of the fight with al Shabaab). Be that as it may, Kenya has repeatedly played host to war-embroiled diaspora. Sudanese refugees in camps in northern Kenya became a recruiting ground for the SPLA to which Kenyan authorities turned a blind eye, and Kenya became a safe-haven for SPLA leadership at points along the way. Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), the mammoth relief operation funded by the UN and largely western nations (many of whom interestingly enough also had economic stakes in South Sudan) was also run out of Kenya, from the pokey northern airhead of Lokichoggio, and it, as much as any foreign arms transfers, holds much of the credit for prolonging the war and forcing Khartoum to the negotiating table which saw South Sudan win its independence.
Kenya also provided the home for the Somali Government in Exile, which has been based in Nairobi for most of the period since the fall of Siad Biarre in 1991. This, combined with a growing and restive Somali diaspora in Kenya, fears of a porous border, and alleged support, by Somali militants, for Islamic militants within Kenya, resulted in Kenya’s ill-advised military intervention in southern Somalia (‘Jubaland’) against al Shabaab- the fundamentalist group in tacit control of most of southern Somalia at the time.
Over the years, a number of different forces have been involved in the war against the various iterations of Somali Islamic militant groups, with Kenya the most recent addition. Uganda and Burundi have both provided substantial troop numbers (and suffered casualties), but the key player in the conflict has been Ethiopia, whose government essentially used the chaos in Somalia to justify a military invasion to bolster their own porous border, establish a buffer-zone, and weaken home-grown Islamic militant groups in Ogaden and Somali Region (Ethiopia and Somalia- both highly distinct nations with strong historical identity- have a long history of border conflict, and Somalia launched an invasion of Ethiopia as recently as the late 1970s).
A nation that allegedly provides support for al Shabaab is Eritrea, which recently faced sanctions for its involvement in moving Shabaab finances. Eritrea is possibly operating on the principle of ‘The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend’. Eritrea fought a bloody war with Ethiopia in which it gained its independence from that nation- after the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) initially supported the overthrow of the communist Mengistu regime in 1991 alongside Meles Zenawi’s Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) as part of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Indeed Isaias Aferwerki, subsequently President of Eritrea and leader of the civil war, was one of the EPRDF’s co-leaders alongside Zenawi.
As well as Eritrea and Somalia, the other regional actors the EPRDF has relationships with are Sudan and South Sudan. Initially, the EPRDF was supported by Khartoum as it overthrew the Derg regime- perhaps because Mengistu was allowing the SPLA to use the refugee camps along Ethiopia’s western border as bases for R&R and recruitment for its troops. Upon seizing the area, the EPRDF emptied the camps and forced tens of thousands of southern refugees back into Sudan. This changed, however, upon consolidation of power, and by 1995, Ethiopia and Eritrea both had troops in South Sudan in support of the SPLA. To this day, Ethiopia continues to provide support to rebels fighting the Khartoum government, allowing an SPLA presence around refugee camps in the west, where recruitment of militia fighters operating in Blue Nile state continues. One of Ethiopia’s primary interests- and the source of conflict with Khartoum- is over control of the Blue Nile’s water resources. The Blue Nile provides roughly 90% of the Nile’s overall flow, rising in Ethiopian territory, and Ethiopia is in the process of constructing a massive hydroelectric power station (the Renaissance Dam) close to the Sudanese border- a move that has heightened tensions between Ethiopia, and Sudan and Egypt downstream.
Libya, the Sahel, and Transnational Islamicism
The other lynchpin tying many of sub-Saharan Africa’s conflicts together is- or was- Moammar Ghaddafi. With his view of a Pan-Saharan Islamic Caliphate, Ghaddafi poured billions of dollars in aid money into propping up friendly regimes- including (but not limited to) Sudan’s Bashir, Chad’s Deby, Niger’s Tanja and Mali’s Toure. Indeed, at the time of the Libyan civil war and Ghaddafi’s death, mercenaries from Mali, Chad and Niger were all present fighting on behalf of the soon-to-be-late dictator, and upon the failure of the regime, flooded back home to their respective countries. This influx of arms created rapid destabilization, increasing security concerns in Niger and Mali particularly, although both Chad and Mauritania have also had coup scares since Ghaddafi’s death. The fall of the Libyan regime is argued as one of the factors in the insurgency that has split Mali in half, which the French have just launched military action in response to, pre-empting a planned ECOWAS intervention.
The loose coalition of Tuareg and Islamist militias that annexed northern Mali to form their state of Awazad is itself a regional conglomeration. Tuaregs exist across the Sahara region, with the bulk of their territory in northern Mali, Niger and Mauritania, and southern Algeria, but with significant populations and ties in Morocco, Chad, Libya and links throughout West Africa and even to the Bedouin of the Middle East. The strong cross-border ties ensure that the Mali conflict has direct repurcussions for stability in both Mauritania and Niger. Meanwhile, Islamist groups, particularly AQIM and its offshoots, also operate across the Sahara region. Originally born out of the Algeria conflict of the 1990s and the insurgent groups that rose to oppose the government, they now have operational reach in Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad, Algeria and Libya and beyond, in a complex presence that is part insurgency, part fundamentalist terrorism, and part criminality.
While long rumoured, the conflict in Mali also led to renewed claims of a partnership between AQIM and its partners, and the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, fighting a domestic insurgency in Nigeria to create a Sharia-based state in the north of that nation. Reports that Boko Haram fighters were supporting operations in Gao provided some confirmation that Boko Haram and AQIM share resources and information in their mutual jihads. Boko Haram has also publically announced its ties to Somalia’s al Shabaab, which in turn is networked to militant Islamic groups in Kenya and Uganda, as well as to global fundamentalist groups outside the African continent.
The below map is a rough and only partial representation of some of the relationships described above- more to visually demonstrate linkages across geography than to provide accurate detail. You’ll need to click on it to view large enough to read properly.
Note that you could carry out a similar analysis on a much smaller scale in any one of the individual conflict-zones, such as Darfur, east DRC or Sudan/South Sudan- which details I have not gone into here.
Strongman Politics, Statehood and Postcolonial Identity
The incredible array of cross-border interactions and networks that embody conflict in sub-Saharan Africa is hardly surprising. A relatively small number of individuals have a very extensive impact on conflict. Museveni supported Garang in his fight against Bashir, who in return funded the LRA in Uganda against Museveni. Museveni equally fought alongside Kagame in Uganda’s domestic conflicts, and so supported his former compatriot in Kagame’s own struggles, first in Rwanda, and subsequently in DRC. Kagame and Museveni together installed Kabila, who then rejected their influence, creating a new conflict. Meanwhile Bashir, as well as fighting Garang in the south, initially supported both Deby and Zenawi in their respective rebellions, but finding himself at odds with both, after Deby invested in the Darfur conflict to shore up his borders, and Zenawi took sides with Garang. Zenawi found himself at odds with Afewerki, and also took the opportunity to secure his borders with Somalia, taking on al Shabaab in the process. Meanwhile, Ghaddafi’s influence provided some facade of stability to several sub-Saharan nations, supporting Bashir, Deby, Tandja and Toure, and with his death, all four nations have experienced an increase in instability.
The concept of the Strongman has a dominant presence in the politics of most sub-Saharan African states. The cultural context is often described as embodying a ‘power/fear’ paradigm (contrasted with the notion of ‘guilt/innocence’ that is commonplace in most European cultures, or ‘honour/shame’ that is found across the Middle East and much of Asia). The development of society for many centuries has in many parts of the region revolved around a single strong leader who takes responsibility variously for family, clan and tribal groups, and this has translated into state-level politics.
The colonial division and subsequent post-colonial devolvement of sub-Saharan African politics and identity is both a part of the problem, and goes a long way to explaining this highly integrated conflict dynamic. State borders are lines drawn on a map by colonial surveyors and clashing European powers. They cut across traditional boundaries, creating situations (as in Rwanda/DRC, for just one of many examples) where ethnic groups are subsequently split by an arbitrary international boundary. Thus war on one side of the boundary naturally spills across the other. Alliances between self-identifying ethnic groups are far stronger than those to nation-state governments in many cases, resulting in the mutli-national involvement so often seen.
Indeed the very nature of ethnic identity in sub-Saharan Africa is problematic. In part it is a construct of the colonial period, where the notion of ‘divide and conquer’ was used to administer restive provinces. People-groups were identified and given artificial containment (see tribal groups in Kenya under the British, and Hutu/Tutsi identity as reinforced by the Belgians). Divisions that were malleable and interchangeable at best prior to colonial rule became reinforced in order to create some kind of order. Where once, ethnic identity could be redefined according to marriage or economic status, it had now become something linked to birthright, some genetic trait unchangeable and therefore open to exploitation. Thus have been born many of Africa’s post-colonial conflicts.
This post is by no means an exhaustive list of alliances. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the dizzying acronym maelstrom that identifies the various players in today’s war-zones, never mind those of the last thirty years. In 2007 there were nearly 30 armed groups operating in Darfur alone- many with ties to other groups in other parts of Sudan, South Sudan, Chad and CAR. A similar number of militia groups existed in South Sudan at the birth of its statehood- most of which were subsumed into the new South Sudanese armed forces, but which retain discrete identities within that force, ready to break out should their agendas be compromised. Then there are the proxy militias on both sides of the north-south Border, the various disgruntled insurgency groups within Ethiopia who claim ties to various other disgruntlecies across the region, and the veritable sea of militias, proto-militias, startup-militias and mom-and-pop militias in the jungles of DRC.
To name a few.
Without wishing to turn something with terrible and far-reaching consequences into an academic whimsy, I have long found the interaction between the various conflicts (and their masterminds) in sub-Saharan Africa fascinating, and it’s been interesting mapping them out for this little exercise. What I hope it demonstrates is the extreme complexity in understanding conflict in Africa; the need for careful analysis, both in terms of motivation and in terms of stakeholders involved; a greater appreciation for the diversity that this continent (or rather, the particular chunk of it reflected in this post) exhibits; and hopefully, a nuanced understanding that conflict in ‘Africa’ doesn’t just happen because it’s the ‘dark continent’- or any one of the newer myriad of tropes the media unconciously trots out when it covers ‘yet another’ African war. Rather, as with any conflict, there is a highly intricate set of circumstances, histories, identities, motivations and participants that coalesce to give a particular event at a particular point in time.
A disclaimer: This post doesn’t address any of the complex linkages to forces outside the African continent, such as politics of the Cold War during the 80s, or subsequently, the newer dynamics of neocolonialist power-games and players, such as China’s economic imperialism, or the US and its allies in their ongoing investment as part of the ‘Global War on Terror’- all highly complex networks that fuel conflict. Likewise I haven’t touched on the dynamics of post-independence conflict in southern Africa, which reverberate up into DRC, ROC and elsewhere, or the conflicts in West Africa, such as the nexus between Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Conakry (with destabilizing influences into Burkina, Ghana, Niger, Mali and elsewhere). And I’ve barely referenced the Arab Spring that ties all North African nations together, including tying in to Bashir’s Khartoum, and weakening that regime’s position vis-a-vis its ability even to manage its southern ‘problem’. Here, I’ve just focused on the central/east regions of the continent, but maybe sometime I’ll expand broader.
Also, apologies again for the lack of URLs in this post. There are HEAPS of sources I pulled drawing this together, gradually over several weeks of reading and pondering, but my internet connectivity out here is poor and going back to catalogue them all has been impossible. If I get a chance to update this again in the future, I’ll see what I can do to fix that.
Finally- I’m pretty sure that Kenya was substantially implicated in supporting Kagame and the RPF on some level during the early 90s, but I couldn’t dig up any sources that explicitly outlined this relationship. If you come across anything, please could you post a link/source/theory in the comments below- thanks!