The Bazukulu and all Ugandans.
Greetings and I wish you a happy Easter which is soon coming (amazuukira, okuhimbuuka).
On this occasion, I want to clarify to the Ugandans and the outsiders, the deployment of our troops in Congo. The other year, we deployed our troops, with the permission of the Congo Government, to fight the ADF terrorists in the areas of Beni, Virunga (Biruunga) National Park, Semuliki, Mbooga and areas of Ituri. With our Congolese brothers and sisters, we have seriously degraded ADF, so much that, most of them, the remnants, are running towards Mambasa-Komanda areas, quite far from the border. The Congolese Farmers were able to harvest their Cocoa for the first time, in many years. There is peace where we have operated. Our effort there, is code-named “Operation Shujaa” (Opn Brave).
In a separate effort, the Commander Land Forces, yesterday, the 29th of March, in the Kisoro Area, flagged off a force that we have contributed to the East African Force that is mandated to help the Congolese stabilize that part of Congo: the Rutshuru-Goma area, where one of the Groups, known as M-23, has been operating against the Congolese Government.
However, contrary to what I saw on the Al-Jazeera, the Daily Vision and others reporting, in that effort, we are not going to “battle”, “fight”, etc. the M-23. The Congo Government and the M-23, have agreed to a peace plan, which involves: cessation of hostilities (fighting), withdrawal of the M-23 from some of the specified areas they had captured to other areas that have been agreed upon, etc.
Meanwhile, the peace talks between the M-23 and the Congo Government have been going on and should continue so that the problem is handled politically. Our initial mission, therefore, is to occupy some of the positions that the M-23 has handed over to the East African Force as a neutral force, instead of the Congolese Army which the M-23 see as enemies or armed opponents in their internal politics. We are, therefore, going to the Bunagana-Rutshuru area, not in order to fight the M-23, but to act as a neutral force as the Congolese use the time to sort out their political problems. Unless we are attacked, we are not there to fight. Fighting may come later if one of the non-state armed groups does not accept peace on what we all regard as reasonable conditions.
The East African Authority (the Heads of State) would, then, have to mandate us to fight if one of the stake-holders refuses to implement the Peace agreement we have agreed on.
That, however, is not the case now. The UPDF is fighting other terrorists in another part of Congo as explained above.
Jajja wa Abazukulu
30th March, 2023