The East Africa Community leaders are calling for the immediate deployment of a regional force to stabilise the situation in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Hundreds of people have fled their homes following renewed fighting between government forces and the M23 rebel movement.
The DRC government blames Rwanda for supporting the rebels, but there have been reports that Ugandan soldiers also assisted the rebels which the Kampala government has denied.
The latest statement from the Uganda army confirms the UPDF is staying in place in the Eastern DRC – despite earlier reports that they had halted their operations.
Last November, Uganda sent its forces as part of a joint operation with the Congolese army to destroy bases belonging to the Allied Democratic Force (ADF) rebel group, accused of killing civilians.
Uganda also blamed the ADF for the 2021 suicide bombing attacks on Kampala.
Uganda Chief of Defence Forces General Wilson Mbadi says, “We are now engaged in typical counter-insurgency operations against smaller groups that scampered for their lives out of those camps that we destroyed by our preliminary bombardment, by the air force, artillery and finally the occupation of those camps by our forces.”
DR Congo has however faced a new spate of violence from the M23 rebel movement, whose fighters captured the Eastern DR Congo border town of – Bunagana – causing a refugee crisis on the Ugandan side.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has accused Rwanda of supporting the rebel activities; a claim that Rwanda has denied.
There are now calls by the East Africa Community leadership for the immediate deployment of a regional force to stabilise the situation. -Reporting by Leon Ssenaynge
East Africa leaders call for immediate deployment of regional forces to Eastern DRC: