Ugandan General’s Tough Talk On Alleged UPDF Deployment In DRC

drug geneva;”>Congolese civil activists on Wednesday reported the presence of Ugandan military personnel in the eastern part of the war-torn country allegedly to reinforce the M23 rebels to expedite the capture of the strategic town of Goma.

The Provincial coordination of civil society in North Kivu said in a July 25 statement that six Fuso brand vehicles from Uganda rolled into DRC before forming a base at Kitagoma, Busanza.

“Three vehicles introduced elements of the UPDF (Ugandan army) to Nyarukwarangara, while three others have fled to Kabira,” said area Civil society coordinator Omar Kavota.

UPDF 2nd Division Brigadier Patrick Kankiriho told news desk at 1:30pm that “those making such reckless allegations don’t know what they are talking about.”

He wondered: “How can you say that Uganda just sent trucks of soldiers to Congo like that? How do you deploy soldiers without help of let’s say armored vehicles? Were the soldiers going for a wedding?”

Speaking furiously, Kankiriho said the Congolese civil groups lack “basic military knowledge and that’s why they just talk rubbish.”

Well known for commanding the 2009 blistering military Operation Lightening Thunder against LRA hideouts in Garamba and a disarmament exercise in eastern Uganda, Kankiriho said there is no reason that would take UPDF to Congo.


“What is there? Yes, we are aware that ADF is near the border but does not possess the ability to destablise the country. We are here ready for them as we try to address the situation through diplomatic channels,” said Kankiriho.

The Civil society in North Kivu also alleged “the elements of the Uganda army have supported the rebels M23” on the front lines and Rutshuru Nyongera-center precisely in Kiringa, Kalengera.

“We have verified information to that effect and firepower of the M23 is now attest. The information that we made available to the authorities needed to be taken seriously,” said Kavota.

This revelation could put Uganda in similar tight spot with Rwanda over allegations of supporting the mutinous M23 rebels.

Several countries including United States have cut aid to Rwanda, accusing Kigali of supplying M23 rebels with military logistics and recruits, allegations President Paul Kagame vehemently denies.

Kagame says Rwanda has not “contributed even a single bullet to the DRC conflict” and blames human rights groups of fanning the flames of the crisis by peddling lies in investigation reports about the situation on the ground.

Fighting is still raging on Congo with DRC President Joseph Kabila using the elite commando forces trained by Israel and United States in a bid to conquer towns of Kiwanja, Rugari and Kibumba.

There was heavy fighting on Friday morning in Rumangabo with M23 breaking FARDC’s defence lines as they marched towards Goma.

In an angry tone, Kankiriho said the civil society groups “must be up to something.”

“I wonder why they are dragging us in this conflict. We are not part of it. We have not sent even a single soldier there (Congo),” said Kankiriho.

He said even during the Bunagana incident, where M23 rebels overran FARDC positions in the strategic town of Bunagana in DRC a few weeks ago, “there was such a rumour that we are supporting those rebels.”

“But DRC is not our enemy. When the FARDC were overpowered by rebels and fled to Uganda, we gave them food and shelter. We even ensured that they returned safely to their country – that’s why we used Mpondwe border point,” said Kankiriho.

He expressed disappointment that MONUSCO and other “concerned groups” were not sending a fact-finding mission on the ground to investigate the allegations of Uganda supporting M23 rebels.

“I think fact-finding is proper and essential. Why don’t they go there and check if Uganda has troops there? Anyone can just wake up one day and dream. They should take journalists there,” charged Kankiriho.

Kabila Seeks Angola Aid To Crush M23

Meanwhile, latest information indicates that Kabila yesterday visited Angola President Eduardo Do Santos in Luanda to beg for special commandoes to help him deal with M23.

Do Santo’s daughter, who is said to be one of the richest women in Africa, is married to a son of a Congolese Tycoon.

Kabila arrived in Luanda at 10:00pm local time, as part of a working visit of several hours.

The Head of State was welcomed at the international airport of 4 February by the Angolan Minister of Labour Pitra Neto.

“Kabila is doing all he can to finish off the rebels that are now a big thorn in his flesh and threaten his hold on power,” said a source.

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