Uganda denies supporting Congolese rebels

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By Godfrey Olukya 18-102012

The government of Uganda has denied allegations made by UN group of experts that Uganda supports M23 rebels who are fighting against Democratic republic of Congo forces.

A report saying that Uganda supports the rebels has leaked to some media houses which have published stories incriminating Uganda.

Uganda’s minister of foreign affairs, Okello Oryem has called a press conference at which he said that the allegations are false and
malicious.

At the same press conference, Uganda army spokesman, Felix Kulayigye said that some UN officials working in Congo are against seeing peace returning to the country because that would jeopardize their jobs. He said they want to annoy Uganda, a country which is doing all it can to see that peace returns to Congo, so that it stops working for return of peace in the troubled country.

Minister Okello said, Uganda as one of the member states of the ICGLR assumed the chairmanship from Zambia on 15th December 2011 and Uganda shall spearhead the ICGLR process up to 2013. Therefore, Uganda as a chair, is mandated to coordinate all the member states and partners to fully implement the pact on security, stability and development in the Great Lakes region as well as the protocols.

He said,’ It should be noted that Uganda has since July, 2012, convened four extra-ordinary summit meetings on the security situation
in the Democratic republic of Congo where strategies and decisions were agreed upon by the ICGLR Heads of State and Government to find a durable solution to Congo.’

He said that upon request by Congo’s president Joseph Kabila and subsequent decision of the ICGLR Heads of State at their Summit on 8th August, 2012 in Kampala, Uganda as chair, was mandated to facilitate dialogue between M23 and Democratic republic of  Congo(DRC) government, to that effect Uganda as a chair of ICGLR established contacts with the leadership of M23 rebels and dialogue has been on-going between the leadership of M23 and DRC government.

He said that It is therefore disappointing that the UN -Group of Experts have chosen to deliberately undermine the regional efforts
which is contrary to the UN Charter. Uganda like any other ICGLR member state is a signatory to the ICGLR protocol on non-aggression and mutual defence which binds member states to abstain from sending or supporting armed opposition forces or armed groups or insurgents on to the territory of other member states.

He also doubted the methodology used by the UN Group of Experts to come to conclusion that Uganda supports the rebels.

He concluded by saying that Uganda as the Chair of ICGLR and neighbor to DRC, remains fully committed to spearhead the regional efforts to ensure security and stability in Eastern DRC as mandated by the ICGLR Heads of State and Government under the 2006 Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region.

END