UPDF General Named In UN Congo Report

side effects geneva; font-size: small;”>The Ambassador registered his happiness about his four and a half year stay and service in Uganda during which H.E. Yoweri Museveni Kaguta visited Iran twice.

thumb geneva; font-size: small;”>He noted that his stay in Uganda would not have been successful without the support of the Ministers as well as that of the entire staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

cure geneva; font-size: small;”>Hon. Okello noted that the relations between the two are based on the principle of mutual respect and friendship.

He thanked the Ambassador for his country’s continued support to Uganda in the health sector and for providing tractors to Ugandan and called for continued good relations for the mutual benefit of the two peoples.

Amb. Dabiran applauded the diversity of Uganda’s education system, noting that two of his children are in universities in Kampala.

The Minister also met with the Ambassador Rashed AI-Hajri of the State of Kuwait to Uganda resident in Addis- Ababa, who presented his credentials to him.

Amb. Rashed hailed the good and cordial relations existing between the two countries and informed Hon Okello that he is already sourcing for investments for Uganda, citing an example of Dao group which is interested in starting a refinery and a Cement plant in Mbale.

He informed that the foundation stone for the multi-billion Cement plant will be laid on November 1, 2012.

Hon. Oryem encouraged Ambassador Rashed in his efforts and promised cooperation from the Ugandan side aimed at strengthening the relations between the two the countries.

He also appreciated the Ambassador’s initiative to bring investor’s to Uganda even before officially presenting his credentials.

The Ambassador informed that Kuwait will host the 3rd Africa-Arab summit in March 2013 and extended an invitation to Uganda.

He said that the summit is aimed at developing cooperation between the African and Arab worlds.

Hon. Gryem was grateful for the invitation and promised Uganda’s attendance and thanked the Ambassador for the good work and expressed his willingness to continue working together especially in the investment sector for the development of both Uganda and Kuwait.

page sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Chimpreports has established that State Minister Henry Okello Oryem on Wednesday afternoon held a special meeting with ministry officials and State House staff on how to respond to the report that has been published by nearly all media houses around the world.

The meeting which kicked off at around 11:00 am ended late in the evening at the Foreign Ministry in Kampala.

Sources that attended the crisis meeting said the UN report is so “troubling” considering that senior UPDF officers are accused of directly sending military logistics, food and other supplies to M23 rebels.

Some of the army officers named include a UPDF commander at the rank of Brigadier who is based in western Uganda, a high ranking official at Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and another General at the Ministry of Defence in Mbuya.

“We are doing everything possible to block the publication of the report because it is likely to plunge the region into a fresh conflict,” said a diplomat who talked to Chimpreports on Thursday evening.

He preferred anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to press.

The report, this source said, carries photographs of purported UPDF vehicles carrying troops to Eastern Congo.

“Yes, these vehicles belong to us but were being used to carry Congolese troops who had fled to Uganda after being attacked by M23 in Bunagana and Rutshuru. I think UN investigators did not take note of that,” said the source.

More troubling for Uganda is that they never got a chance from UN to respond to the claims raised by investigators.

“We don’t know what the rush was all about. We asked these people (UN) to give us enough time to respond to their allegations in vain because there are so many falsehoods,” the source further stated.

The U.N. Security Council’s Group of Experts said in a confidential report that Rwanda and Uganda – despite their strong denials – continued to support M23 rebels in their six-month fight against Congolese government troops in North Kivu province.

“Both Rwanda and Uganda have been supporting M23,” said the 44-page report, which was seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

“While Rwandan officials coordinated the creation of the rebel movement as well as its major military operations, Uganda’s more subtle support to M23 allowed the rebel group’s political branch to operate from within Kampala and boost its external relations,” it said.

The experts said that units of the Ugandan and Rwandan armies “jointly supported M23 in a series of attacks in July 2012 to take over the major towns in Rutshuru Territory, and the (Congolese army) base of Rumangabo.”

Ugandan military spokesman Felix Kulayigye rejected the report.

“Where’s the evidence for their claims? Some of those so-called experts came here and did not interview anyone,” he said. “Where’s their authentic facts to back those claims? Those accusations are absolute rubbish, hogwash.”

“UPDF (Ugandan army) commanders sent troops and weapons to reinforce specific M23 operations and assisted in M23’s recruitment and weapons procurement efforts in Uganda,” it said.


This is not the first time Uganda is being accused of funneling arms to M23.

In July, we published a story in which a Ugandan army general warned civil society groups in Congo against what he called “peddling of blatant lies” that UPDF had deployed soldiers in Kivu.

Congolese civil activists had 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 in an exclusive interview then 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 destabilize 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.

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, “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.


Speaking to press yesterday, Oryem said it was “disheartening for any DRC government official to undermine the spirit and efforts of the regional leaders to realize the objective of security and stability in Eastern DRC.”

“There are existing structures agreed upon by the ICGLR Heads of State and Government to ensure that fighting stops completely, and ensure peace and stability in the Eastern DRC,” he observed.

In this regard, the minister added, the Joint Intelligence Fusion Center was established to collect intelligence information and subsequent establishment of the expanded Joint Verification Mechanism led by a Ugandan Brigadier General where all Member States are fully represented to verify and monitor accusations and counter accusations in Eastern DRC.


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