Congo MPs vow to halt operation against ADF
What you need to know:
- The legislators accuse Uganda of betraying their forces in Bunagana.
Members of Parliament in DR Congo have demanded a review of agreements with Uganda after they accused it of helping M23 rebels to capture Bunagana border town on Monday.
The speaker of the DRC National Assembly, Mr Christophe Mboso Nkodia, accused Uganda of backstabbing their forces at Bunagana, and vowed that they will not allow the agreement with Uganda to have a joint military operation in eastern DRC to pass.
“Even before these troops (M23) did what they did, we said following the pact that [President] Museveni’s son (Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba) signed with Rwanda, we are not letting this agreement pass. He showed us that he had signed his pact, he had just betrayed us. We said, we do not accept,” Mr Mboso was quoted by www.politico.cd, a media house in DRC.
READ: Anti-Rwanda tensions boil over into looting in eastern DR Congo city
According to www.politico.cd, Mr Mboso said he had talked to their minister of foreign affairs and shared their concerns.
Lt Gen Muhoozi, the Commander of Land Forces, has been making statements on his Twitter handle supporting Tutsi, Lendu and Hema tribes that contribute the biggest percentage of M23 rebels. He also vowed to fight anyone fighting Rwanda.
Lt Gen Muhoozi also heads Operation Shujaa, which is hunting down Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels that have been hiding in eastern DRC for more than two decades.
Responding to the debate in the DRC parliament, Lt Gen Muhoozi tweeted: “I hear someone in the DRC parliament said that ‘Muhoozi is an enemy of Congo’. Me? So an enemy of DRC is one who saves people in North Kivu and Ituri from being slaughtered by ADF in Le triangle de la mort?”
DR Congo president Felix Tshisekedi was by yesterday in a meeting with the supreme council, the country’s strategic security organ in Kinshasa, discussing the situation in the eastern region.
The DR Congo accuses Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels. A few weeks ago, Rwanda and Uganda signed an agreement in which their armies will share intelligence, which has irritated DRC since it also shares intelligence in their eastern region.
The DRC legislators’ comments on Tuesday sparked demonstrations yesterday on the streets of Goma and other eastern towns in DRC.
Protesters burnt images and effigies of President Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame.
The demonstrators also burnt flags of both countries, demanding that they leave their country.
They also blocked the Rwanda-DRC border as they pelted stones at Rwanda police officers.
Some businesses suspected to be owned by the two nationalities were looted and vandalised in Goma .
Some of the Ugandan business people, especially in transport and merchandise trade were trapped in eastern DRC after M23 rebels captured Bunagana border town.
The DRC minister of information, Mr Patrick Muyaya, yesterday directed the media and locals to desist from hate speech and inflaming the situation.
“Fight against the spread of fake news, fight hate speech and stigma, the role and responsibility of the media during this Rwandan aggression,” Mr Muyaya tweeted yesterday.
The Ugandan Foreign Affairs ministry has not issued an advisory to Ugandans in the affected areas.
Efforts to get a comment from the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Gen Odongo Jeje, and Mr Okello Oryem were futile as they did not respond to our calls or messages by press time.