Uganda on high alert amid tension in eastern DRC

FILE PHOTO: President Yoweri Museveni meets UPDF and DRC army officials. Uganda has an operation in DRC but is on high alert over M23 issues

Summary:

  • The Ugandan military is closely monitoring the volatile situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) due to intense fighting between DRC troops and M23 rebels. The entire border is under surveillance, according to Maj. Bilal Katamba, spokesperson of the Mountain Division of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).

The Ugandan military on Monday said it is on high alert and closely following the unstable situation in the eastern part of neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The entire borderline is under surveillance following intense fighting between DRC troops and M23 rebels, Maj. Bilal Katamba, spokesperson of the Mountain Division of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), told Xinhua over the phone.

“Whenever there is a problem in the neighborhood, we also become more alert. We just can’t sit back,” he said.

Katamba, who also speaks for Operation Shujaa, a UPDF mission hunting down Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in eastern DRC, said the army is also on alert given that the ADF had recently started crossing into Uganda and wreaking havoc.

“We have issues already with the ADF,” he said. “Our alertness has been at the top. Remember how they infiltrated and hurt our people.”

Katamba said many refugees are fleeing into Uganda from the DRC, a situation which called for serious screening to avoid letting in ADF rebels.

“When you are expecting refugees, it means that bad people can use the opportunity to come in. So all the security agencies are on full alert,” he said. ■

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