By Our Reporter
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni also Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces has shaded more light on Uganda People’s Defence Force’s (UPDF) deployment in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a press release dated 30th March, 2023, President Museveni corrected impressions created by Al-Jazeera and New vision that UPDF had been deployed to fight M-23 rebel group in DRC.
Museveni was responding to UPDF’s deployment to the Eastern Congo on 29th March, 2023 where the commander Land Forces flagged off UPDF’s contingent to the East African Force that is mandated to stabilize the Rutshuru-Goma area that is supposed to be vacated by the M-23 Forces.
According to Museveni, the M-23 forces and the DRC government have agreed on a peace plan which includes cessation of hostilities and withdrawal from areas recently captured by M-23 to some other areas already agreed upon.
“However contrary to what I saw on Al-Jazeera and New Vision and other reporting, to that effect, we are not going to battle ‘fight’ M-23,” President Museveni says.
He also says the current position is that UPDF with other East African armies is to occupy the areas M-23 has handed over to the East African Force as a neutral force.
He says M-23 preferred this arrangement instead of handing over such areas to the Congolese army which it (M-23) considers an enemy.
The Ssabalwanyi however warns that UPDF will fight back if attacked and if one of the non- state armed groups does not accept peace on what they all regard as reasonable conditions.