President Museveni: UPDF Presence in DRC is not to Fight M-23 but to Maintain Peace


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President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has clarified that Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) deployment in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is not to fight M-23, but maintain peace.

According to a statement dated Thursday 30th March, 2023, the president insisted that the deployment of troops by UPDF is to act as a neutral force as the Congolese use the time to sort out their political problems.

“In that effort, we are not going to battle or fight 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,” part of the statement read.

He noted that the initial mission, therefore, is to occupy some of the positions that the M-23 had 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 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,” he added.

The troops will be deployed in Bunagana and Rutshuruin North Kivu and the president revealed that the troops will not attack any one unless they are attacked.

“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 stakeholders refuses to implement the peace agreement we have agreed on,” he added.

Uganda, among other East African countries came together to create the East African Community Force to help stabilize and pacify the region.

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