Fred Rwigema: A National Hero

Fred Rwigyema

1978:
Idi Amin Dada invades Tanzania. Tanzanians manage to hold the dictator’s troops away with the help of Ugandans and Rwandans from the Diaspora (Museveni and Rwigema included).

1979: UNLA (Uganda National Liberation Army) is created to put an end to the tyrant Idi Amin and his dictatorship. Paul Kagame enlists, so does Museveni and Rwigema. Fred Rwigema is side lined due to his Rwandan origins, but still remains one of Museveni’s close friend.
RRWF (Rwandese Refugee Welfare Foundation) is created to help Rwandan refugees, victims of the politics of systematic repression toward all Rwandans orderd by Amin’s government.

1978: Idi Amin Dada invades Tanzania. Tanzanians manage to hold the dictator’s troops away with the help of Ugandans and Rwandans from the Diaspora (Museveni and Rwigema included).

1979: UNLA (Uganda National Liberation Army) is created to put an end to the tyrant Idi Amin and his dictatorship. Paul Kagame enlists, so does Museveni and Rwigema. Fred Rwigema is side lined due to his Rwandan origins, but still remains one of Museveni’s close friend.
RRWF (Rwandese Refugee Welfare Foundation) is created to help Rwandan refugees, victims of the politics of systematic repression toward all Rwandans orderd by Amin’s government.

1980: The Rwandese Refugee Welfare Foundation becomes the Rwandese Alliance for National Unity (RANU). Rwigema officially joins a becomes a member.
1981: The National Resistance Army (NRA), is created to put an end to Milton Obote’s dictatorship; Obote went in power right after the fall of Idi Amin. Rwigema and Paul Kagame were part of 40 men(which only 27 were armed) that constituted the heart of Museveni’s army. They start their mission by attacking the military base in Kabamba.
Otafiire and Shefu Ali’s political party. He changes his name and calls himself Fred Rwigema. After meeting Yoweri Museveni in Nairobi, he leaves Uganda to enlist in FRELIMO (Front de Libération du Mozambique) but passes through Tanzania. It’s in a training camp of the FRELIMO that he befriends Museveni’s younger brother Salim Saleh (who’s real name is Coleb Akandwanaho), who later becomes General Major in the Ugandan National Resistance Army (NRA). These two share a passion for books written by Che Guevara, Mao and …George Washington, to name a few.

1986 (6 february): NRA successfully brought down Milton Obote’s regime along with Tito Okello. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni becomes President of the Ugandan Republic.

1986-1989: Rwigema becomes Commander in Chief and leads the war against Alice Lakwena’s army, the LRA (Lord Resistance Army).

1987: Rwigema weds Jeannette Birasa with whom he will later have two kids, GISA JUNIOR RUGAMBA et TETA GISA. The seventh congress of the RANU meets in Kampala in December. RANU becomes Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi). The main objectif is to bring back the Rwandan refugees to their homeland, Rwanda. Rwigema is the President of RPF and the party is rallying a lot of members from Rwanda, Burundi Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Europe Canada , Uk, America, etc.

1989: Rwigema focus all his time and energy to mobilize people and funds for RPF through the Rwandans in the Diasporas, as far as North America and Europe.

1990: By September, he had already prepared their invasion for the first of October. Monday 1st of October 1990: 14 h 30
RPF operation begin as an army for National liberation. He led the invasion and accepted to scarify his life for the cause he believed in.
Fred Rwigema remains in many Rwandans’ hearts a hero and an inspiration of nationalism, patriotism and panafricanism.


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