By Raymond Baguma
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has assured the visiting UN group of experts on DR Congo that Uganda did not in any way support the M23 rebels as alleged in their 2012 report to the UN Security Council.
Uganda rejected the UN report in a statement to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, clarifying that Uganda did not in any way aid the M23 rebels and the allegations were false.
Uganda was accused of supporting M23 rebels in form of direct troop reinforcement in DRC territory, weapon deliveries and technical support, planning, political advice and facilitation of external relations.
The UPDF and Rwanda Defence Forces were jointly accused of supporting M23 in a series of attacks in July 2012.
Mbabazi stated the Government position recently while meeting the UN group of experts led by their coordinator, Emilie Serralta. The team of experts is in the country to further investigate the alleged support of M23 rebels by Uganda.
Mbabazi thanked the UN experts for their commitment to resolve the Congo conflict, adding that Uganda is most interested in a peaceful Congo because they are not only neighbors but share common interests including the people who have relatives on either side of both countries’ borders.
He said Uganda always hosts Congolese refugees whenever war erupts in Congo and this greatly affects the level of service delivery in the host areas.
He also advised the UN experts to concentrate on restoring peace in DRC because justice, law and order, and human rights cannot flourish in areas without peace.
In its final 2012 report, to which they want Uganda to respond, the experts also reported that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) had increased in strength to more than 1,300 combatants, of whom 800 are trained and equipped.