Inside Story: How Kabila Forced Uganda To Close Bunagana Border Post – ChimpReports
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Inside Story: How Kabila Forced Uganda To Close Bunagana Border Post


physician geneva; font-size: small;”>The closure followed a request by President Joseph Kabila of DRC who through a Special Envoy Mr. Raymond Tshibanda N’tunga Mulongo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophone Affairs of DRC, accompanied by the Governor of North Kivu and the Ambassador of the DRC to Uganda – to President Yoweri Museveni on October 26.

At a meeting at Rwakitura, Tshibanda told Museveni that the DRC Government had concerns that, M23 rebels were taking advantage of the open border point at Bunagana to collect revenue from cargo vehicles and other goods.

“Upon receiving the request, President Museveni informed the Special Envoy that Uganda would consider closure of the border post upon receiving a formal and written request from President Kabila,” said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional Cooperation, Hon. Asuman Kiyingi.

DRC, according to Kiyingi, was mandated “take responsibility for any negative impact on the humanitarian situation” as result of closing the border.

“Subsequently, the Government of the DRC made a formal request on 30th October, 2012 to President Museveni reassuring him that, the closure of the border post will not affect the lives of the civilian population in Bunagana, in spite of the conflict,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

He however, clarified the movement of the people, goods and supplies of basic needs to the population will continue without restriction to Rutshuru territory as well as between the latter and the city of Goma.

“Pursuant to the above reassurance by the DRC Government, the Government of Uganda took a decision to close Bunagana border post in order to positively respond to the concerns of the DRC Government in the spirit of good neighborliness between the two sister States,” observed Kiyingi.

DRC government is alleged to have leaked a UN investigators’ report, linking Ugandan generals Salim Saleh, Kale Kayihura and Kale Kayihura to the rebellion in Eastern Congo.

DRC President Joseph Kabila quickly organized a press conference in Kinshasha where he asked Uganda to be “forthcoming” with information on its alleged political support for the M23 rebel group instead of dismissing a leaked second version of a report prepared by the UN group of Experts implicating it as “rubbish”.

The UN report has stoked tensions in the region and strained tensions between Rwanda and Uganda on side and DRC on the other.

Uganda has dismissed the allegations as “total lies and fabrications” before threatening to pull out troops from Somalia over “backstabbing” by the UN despite “sacrificing her children in peace building military operations” in the region.

Nevertheless, Kiyingi said: “Government of Uganda reiterates its commitment as the Chair of ICGLR to the process of finding a durable solution to the conflict in Eastern DRC, in line with the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region.”

Kiyingi also informed Ugandans, Member States of International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the International community of Bunagana closure.

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