Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has assured the people of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo of total peace after the two countries launched joint operations to flush out the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) from Eastern Congo.
The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and The Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo – FARDC the state organisation responsible for defending the Democratic Republic of the Congo launched joint operations against ADF in Eastern Congo on November 30 with bombardment on four major camps.
Since then, the two forces have captured several camps including Kambi Ya Yua and secured major routes in Eastern Congo to enable ground battle teams to pursue ADF rebels, who have fled to the thick forests.
To avoid back and forth attacks between the rebels and the joint forces, President Museveni advised the government of DRC to intensify regional and local security mechanisms to avoid further insurgencies especially in areas already secured by the joint forces. “We should really work together and finish this problem. This was phase one. We are now ready for phase two. It is very easy for us to destroy those groups,” Museveni said.
The President was addressing a delegation of security chiefs from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) led by their Minister in charge of National Defence Unit Dr Gilbert Kabanda Kurhenga at State Lodge Nakasero, on Sunday.
“Our experience here is that, once you attack concentrations of the terrorists and they see that you have the capacity, they can’t challenge you army to army, they now go to pure terrorism. They break into small groups and they go to attack villagers,” Museveni said.
He mentioned five elements needed to strengthen security which include using mobile forces, zonal forces, local defence units per village, strategic forces (air forces, artillery) and to lesser – extent special forces. Museveni also added that these will later prevent pockets of terrorism where rebels return to attack villagers and kill people ending up discrediting the government.
“That’s why for us, we add the third force. These are called local defence units per village where there’s a threat. And they don’t have to be many. When the other people come to kill villagers, they will be there to repulse them,” he said.
The Chief of Defence Forces Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi briefed the President about the progress of the ongoing Operation Shuja aimed at pacifying Eastern Congo, the on-going road construction projects on the Kasindi – Beni – Butembo and Bunagana – Rutshuru to facilitate easy movement of troops and other strategic decisions made between the forces of the two countries.
The Minister in Charge of National Defence of DRC Dr Gilbert Kabanda Kurhenga thanked President Museveni for his role in ensuring peace in the region.