URN.Speaking to Uganda Radio Network in an interview, Bishop Loum notes that the intervention of the government to pursue the ADF rebels in the neighboring is welcomed but cautioned that it shouldn’t spill into another operation and confrontation with neighbors
The Northern Uganda Diocese Bishop, Rev. Godfrey Loum has appealed to the Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF leadership not to deviate from their mission of hunting the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.
Ugandan troops last month launched air and artillery raids against ADF key bases in the Eastern DRC in an operation code named “Operation Shujaa”. The government accused ADF rebels of being behind strings of suicide bombings in the country in recent months.
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network in an interview, Bishop Loum notes that the intervention of the government to pursue the ADF rebels in the neighboring is welcomed but cautioned that it shouldn’t spill into another operation and confrontation with neighbors.
He says the UPDF has every right to follow the perpetrators in the Congo if the government’s accusations against ADF are true.
Rev. Loum says the UPDF shouldn’t use the opportunity in pretext to repeat what transpired in their first invasion in the Congo between 1998 and 2003.
The Bishop says the country’s image was tainted at the time of the military intervention in Congo when it ended up fighting with its neighbor Rwanda in the Eastern Congolese city of Kisangani.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the time maintained that the invasion of DRC was to among other things protect Uganda’s territorial integrity from invasion by Kabila forces and deny habitation to Uganda’s dissidents, such as the ADF in the Congo.
Rev. Loum however notes that UPDF leadership should ensure their men are disciplined in a foreign land to avoid engaging in acts that are not in line with their mission.
Over the weekend, the UPDF Deputy Spokesperson Ronald Kakunrungu revealed the UPDF had successfully conducted the second artillery strikes on ADF bases where the terrorists were reportedly regrouping in Beru 1, Beru 2, and Kambi Ya Yua in Eastern DRC.
The DRC government earlier accused Ugandan forces of looting, committing murders, and violating its International Sovereignty during their five years of military occupation.
In December 2005, the international court of justice, the United Nations highest judicial body ruled that Uganda’s 1998-2003 intervention violated international sovereignty and led to the killing and torture of civilians and the destruction of villages. The DRC government is demanding $13 billion from Uganda in reparations.