What you need to know:
- Sources say the President Museveni told the diplomats that Uganda was invited by DRC to fight ADF rebels and the cooperation is going on well.
President Museveni has briefed members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the Uganda operations against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
President Museveni met representatives of the five permanent members of UNSC, including United States of America, China, Russia, France, United Kingdom, and four non-permanent members at State House Entebbe, yesterday.
According to sources, President Museveni told the diplomats that Uganda was invited by the DRC to fight ADF rebels and the cooperation is going on well.
He told the diplomats that after the terror attacks in Kampala City, the terrorists decided to run to the villages and he was worried that they were going to be killed by villagers.
In the meeting, the diplomats supported Uganda’s raid in eastern DRC, but asked the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) to have close coordination with United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), which has a military strength of 14,000.
Last Tuesday, the UPDF carried out air and artillery strikes on suspected bases of ADF rebels in eastern DRC.
Uganda accuses the rebel group of carrying out terror attacks through bombings in Kampala City and in a bus on Kampala-Masaka Road that left nine people dead and tens injured.
In a televised address last month, President Museveni said the rebel group is busy mining and cutting timber in DRC despite the presence of the UN mission aimed at flushing them out.
Uganda’s ambassador to the UN, Mr Adonia Ayebare, who was present in the State House meeting yesterday, said: “We have been instructed to work closely with UNSC members and the leadership of MONUSCO to ensure effective coordination.”
On Wednesday, MONUSCO said it will not support Uganda and DRC coalition operations against the ADF rebels in eastern DRC, but they will coordinate with them for safety reasons.
MONUSCO public relations officer Mathias Gillman said their mandate limits them from supporting coalition forces.
In 2020, the UNSC under resolution 2556 extended the MONUSCO mandate until December 20 this year and thereafter approved its gradual exit strategy.
Uganda is pushing for MONUSCO’s mandate to be extended, but its tasks to be shifted from peacekeeping to peace enforcement. This will enable them to fight all negative forces as it was in Somalia.
President Museveni views the UN deployment in DRC as mere tourism for the personnel since they have failed to bring peace and stability there after more than four decades of their presence in the country.
In a State House statement, the President said the ADF is an Islamic extremist group that was created by foreign actors and warned that if it isn’t handled well, it can become a serious problem in the region and around the world.
“The President said while the ADF claim to be an Islamic armed group, their ideology is not attractive and has been resented, forcing them to resort to abductions and killings,” the statement reads in part.
He, however, said the intervention in African matters by external forces should only be done if the local and regional actors have failed.