Museveni to Meet U.N. Chiefs Over M23 Rebels

Government confirmed that M23 rebels has started fleeing Bihanga

United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region Said Djinnit is today Tuesday expected to meet with President Museveni for a high-level meeting in Uganda.

The agenda is yet to be officially unveiled to the media.

However, capsule the meeting comes against the backdrop of reports that former DRC rebel movement M23 is regrouping.

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Source told ChimpReports that U.N. officials would seek reassurance that M23 fighters would not return to DRC to wreak havoc.

Hundreds of M23 combatants cantoned at Bihanga barracks in western Uganda recently escaped from the defence facility.

Some of them were intercepted in Mbarara by security services while travelling to the south western part of the country.

They are detained at UPDF’s Makenke barracks, page 2nd Division, prescription Mbarara.

The DRC government has since taken strong exception with M23 activities and asked Uganda to reign in on them.

Kampala has since admitted the rebels’ uncoordinated movements which have since alarmed the international community.

“It’s true, the meeting will take place today afternoon,” a source told ChimpReports today.

It’s understood M23 intend to take advantage of the DRC political crisis triggered by President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to hand over power to demand space for political mobilisation.

The movement accuses DRC authorities of gross human rights abuses, corruption and failure to deliver decent public services to Kivu.

The possibility of a fresh war in DRC by battle-hardened M23 combatants poses an existential threat to Kabila’s government.

The youthful guerrillas had gone as far as Goma before being ordered by regional leaders Museveni and Paul Kagame to withdraw to their bases in Bunagana.

The United Nations has previously participated in efforts to bring peace and stability to Africa’s Great Lakes sub-region which has been plagued by decades of political instability and armed conflicts, porous borders and humanitarian crisis, along with tensions over natural resources and other potentially destabilizing factors.

The U.N. in February 2013 adopted an accord aimed at stabilizing the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.

The Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework – signed by Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania – encompasses commitments at the national, regional and international levels to bring peace and stability to the eastern DRC and the region.

But President Museveni accuses U.N. of conserving rebel movements in the area.

When asked last year why it had taken long for the rebels to be sent back home as per the agreement, President Yoweri Museveni said the rebels refused to go home and that he didn’t know why.

“I have no idea why they are not going back; we discussed with (President) Kabila and he told me that they had done all the concessions that were needed, but that they were not going back,” Museveni said.

“I am going to ask them directly, why if all the guarantees have been put in place and then we shall inform the Congolese government.”

According to government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, there are 270 former M23 combatants still cantoned at Bihanga.

“We would like to restate our commitment to live by the agreements and obligations that were entered into in 2014,” he said.

“Uganda will not and does not support any armed activities to distabilise the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Envoy Said’s key tasks include undertaking good offices to strengthen the relations between the signatories of the framework, revitalizing existing accords and coordinating the international engagement.


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