Uganda, DRC agree on joint intelligence operation

Friday 5th August 2016

Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have held a Security Summit and agreed to cooperate and work jointly, especially in sharing intelligence information, in a bid to decisively eliminate remnants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and other rebel groups that are active in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo that pose a security threat to the two countries. Those groups have in the recent days committed atrocities against Congolese nationals including murder, rape and looting people’s property.

Addressing the press last evening at the end of a one-day Summit that took place at Mweya Safari Lodge in Kasese district in Western Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni and his DRC counterpart President Joseph Kabila, said that because of the threat posed by those rebel groups to the two countries, especially by the ADF, and the fact that they recruit from both countries whereby Ugandans and Congolese nationals are active in those rebel groups, it was important that the two countries cooperate and share intelligence information in order to eliminate the groups decisively.

President Museveni clarified that although the two countries have not discussed or even considered conducting joint military operations against those rebel groups, Uganda is ready to offer any assistance, if requested by DRC, because the rebels are operating from the DRC territory and not from Ugandan territory.

Regarding Congolese M23 rebels who have continued to live in Uganda, President Museveni said that he had extensively discussed the matter with President Kabila who assured him that the DRC government had met all the concessions the M23 group had demanded for their return and given them all the guarantees. Mr. Museveni, therefore, wondered why the M23 group were reluctant to return to their country.

The President, therefore, immediately tasked the Chief of the Defense Forces, General Katumba Wamala, to get in touch with the M23 leadership on the matter and give an answer to the DRC Government.

On the oil exploration in the shared Albertine Region by the two countries, President Museveni said that he had informed his counterpart on the progress Uganda has made in the sector that will see the engage in commercial oil production by 2018.

He said that President Kabila is happy with the developments in the Ugandan oil sector. The Congolese leader said his country looks forward to borrowing experience and expertise from Uganda when the DRC starts her oil exploration process.

Responding to questions from journalists on whether the Democratic Republic of Congo is ready and on schedule to hold national elections, President Kabila said elections in the DRC, are conducted by an independent electoral body. He also clarified that all elections in the country are preceded by the updating of the voters’ register, which started at the end of July this year. President Kabila added that once the exercise of updating the voters’ register is over, elections in the DRC will be held like it was in the previous two times.

Regarding the plight of Ugandan business people and transporters who suffer and most times lose their property at the hands of the DRC Army officials and militias, President Kabila said that his government held a big conference of Governors in the Congolese City of Lubumbashi last month, discussed the matter and agreed on modalities to better the security situation in the region. He pledged that the situation will improve and Ugandans will be guaranteed their safety while carrying out trade activities on the DRC soil.

Several Ugandan and DRC Ministers, government and security officials attended the security Summit.

Later, President Museveni saw off President Kabila at Mpondwe town on the border between the two countries.

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