President Yoweri Museveni has accused the United Nations of preserving terrorism in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, a statement from the President’s Press Office indicates.
Museveni reportedly made his mind known to everyone yesterday while meeting a UN Special Investigations Team led by Dmitry Titov into the circumstances under which the recent killing of Tanzanian soldiers serving under MONUSCO in Congo took place.
Mr. Dmitry Titov was until recently the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for the Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He was accompanied among others by the UN Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango.
“The UN operation in D.R. Congo and to some extent in Somalia was conservation of terrorism. The terrorists are weak. They have had freedom of movement and space but made no progress in their ventures. If they were strong they would have made a big impact,” he said.
At least 14 United Nations peacekeepers were killed in the restive Democratic Republic of Congo, last December in what was described as the deadliest attack in the organisation’s recent history. The peacekeepers, who were from neighbouring Tanzania, were killed in the North Kivu province. 40 others were wounded, including several critically, according to reports.
DR Congo’s huge eastern region has long been wracked by violence, but fighting between government soldiers and militia groups, as well as inter-ethnic clashes, has increased significantly.
“It must be the people of the affected country to fight and defeat terrorism within their territory, friendly forces, like the UPDF should come in not to replace the people but to strengthen them,” the President said. He reiterated that it must be the citizens to clear their country.
The United Nations has been in DRC for decades but the security situation has little changed in the region.
Museveni informed the UN Team that Uganda is currently host to 500,000 Congolese refugees on top of one million others from South Sudan. He informed the visiting UN team that Uganda was assisted by Tanzania during the struggle to remove Idi Amin from power adding that during the second part of the protracted people’s struggle, Uganda requested Tanzania to empower us in clearing the challenge at hand between 1981 and 1986.
President Museveni said that if the local groups in Congo and Somalia cannot work with the population to guard their countries, the friendly forces should come in with enough manpower to clean up the affected areas. He noted that if neighbouring D.R. Congo had enough numbers they would have succeeded in solving the problem. He observed that D.R. Congo has a combination of conventional, irregular and terrorist groups on its territory. He further informed the visitors that terrorists kill non-combatants who are soft targets.
Mr. Dmitry Titov, commended President Museveni for contributing towards the peace process in Somalia. He said that the UN looked forward to Uganda’s assisting them in finding the answers into the killing of the Tanzanian peacekeepers in Eastern DRC recently. He observed that the terrorist Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is a common enemy adding that MONUSCO has got the task of eliminating ADF rebels.