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UPDF Not In DR Congo's Rutshuru - Felix Kulaigye :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UPDF Not In DR Congo's Rutshuru - Felix Kulaigye

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He said the UPDF has no reason to be involved in an internal conflict, unless when it is a regional peace effort.
Some of M23 on duty (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)
Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) has denied claims by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Wazalendo fighters that its soldiers are fighting alongside the March 23 Movement (M23).

The Spokesperson of the Wazalendo Jules Mulumb on Tuesday released a statement on X formerly Twitter accusing UPDF soldiers of fighting alongside M23 rebels to capture Sake town in North Kivu Province.  Mulumba also posted some pictures UPDF armored vehicles claiming that they are near Sake. 

“The Ugandan army with its artillery is in full maneuver in support of that of Kagame but we will resist them until the end. Here it is on the Kitchanga-Sake axis. Vengeance will be tenfold. Save this date”, Mulumba claimed in a statement.       

But UPDF spokesperson, Brigadier General Felix Kulaigye on Thursday in a statement described Mulumba’s accusations as falsehoods stating that UPDF soldiers have never stepped in Sake.  

Kulaigye instead accuses Mulumba of using photos of UPDF soldiers when they were on a legal East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) peacekeeping mission in 2023 in Tchengerero along Bunagana-Rutshuru road in Rutshuru territory to support that UPDF is fighting alongside M23.

Kulaigye said the picture posted by Mulumba was taken when Uganda's Contingent to East African Community Regional Force was in Tesegero general areas of the Bunagana -Rutshuru to Goma axis not Sake. 

Kulayigye said Mulumba is trying to justify Wazalendo’s losses to M23 to dag the UPDF in the conflict. Kulayingye explained that UPDF has so reason to be involved in an internal conflict.

"Mulumba, who is actually the spokesperson for Democratic Forces For Liberation of Rwanda aka Wazalendo, and they are trying to justify their losses to M23 with such allegations.

Officially the DRC government has claimed that the Kigali government under President Paul Kagame is behind the M23 rebel group.

Shortly after UPDF released a statement, Mulumba released another statement saying “And this is how they treat the Congolese as fools, here they are denying the evidence seen and experienced by the Congolese as well as the Ugandans on both sides of the border. And from the outset the wazalendo let us become FDLR”

On Thursday, there was a lull of gun sounds at all the fronts in North Kivu as both parties maintained their positions. 

Meanwhile, the South African National Defense Force in a statement confirmed that two of its solders dies and and three others were after a bomb attack.It said the incident happened when a mortar bomb targeted their base near Goma city. It described  the incident as an indirect fire.   Causalities were rushed to a health facility in Goma for treatment. 

In March 2022, M23 led by Bertrand Bisimwa and General Sultan Makenga launched a war against the government.  The DR Congo government accuses Rwanda of backing M23, but Rwanda and M23 strongly deny it.  The rebels claim to fight against bad leadership in DR Congo based on corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination. 

For the last two weeks, Masisi territory has experienced fierce fighting as M23 rebels fight to capture Sake town without success. Located about 25 Kilometers North West of Goma, Sake town is the last barrier town for M23 to capture Goma city. 

But Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), militia coalition under their umbrella Wazalendo (Patriots) and troops under Southern African Development Community (SADC) troops are still putting heavy resistance to stop M23 rebels that are about 5 kilometers towards the town from advancing.        

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