Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Unity Platform-NUP has warned that the “illegal” deployment of Ugandan troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo without Parliament’s approval will cost the country highly.
On November 30th 2021, UPDF issued a statement indicating that together with their counterparts of the DRC army, they had launched artillery and airstrikes to eliminate the camps of the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF, a rebel terror group that has over the years been accused of being behind terrorism activities in both Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, the National Unity Platform-NUP says that the deployment of Ugandan troops in Congo without authorization by the parliament as it is stipulated in the law was an act of illegality and its outcomes will cost the country dearly.
Addressing journalists at the party headquarters in Kamwokya, John Baptist Nambeshe, the NUP vice president Eastern region, said that deployed forces are most likely to repeat the same mistakes of looting natural resources that occurred in the late 1990’s that saw penalties sanctioned against Ugandan government.
“Our track record of UPDF in DRC is very bad, there is a hanging debt of over US$10 Billion that Uganda has to pay as a result of looting that was done in the past,” Nambeshe said. “It may not be paid by us, but our great grandchildren will surely have to pay. And now the same mistake is likely to be repeated.”
He says the government is less concerned with accumulating debts that are deepening the risks for the future of Uganda.
Nambeshe wonders why the Ugandan government did not emulate what Democratic Republic of Congo government did when they requested for the endorsement of parliament to allow their troops to join the combined operation with Uganda.
“The Congo Parliament convened and allowed their troops to join Uganda in these operations first,” Nambeshe said. “I wonder why the Ugandan government did not emulate the same, to seek the approval of parliament, and nobody would have rejected it. But what was done is an absolute sort of illegality that will cost us.”
Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro, the party’s deputy spokesperson said the action of taking Ugandan troops to Congo without parliament’s approval clearly explains how UPDF is being owned by individuals not Ugandans as the constitution stipulates.
Earlier this month, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among asked the government to present to Parliament a comprehensive report on its foreign deployment of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces to Democratic Republic of Congo, an explanation that hasn’t been presented.