Uganda Said To Deploy 4,900 Soldiers in Congo-- Military Sources

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Gen. Museveni. Photo: Facebook

Uganda has unilaterally deployed 4,900 soldiers into the Democratic Republic of Congo according to well-placed sources in the country's military.

The soldiers are supported with tanks and artillery pieces, according to the sources in the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF). The Ugandan regime in the past has claimed it was conducting cross-border operations in the Congo to neutralize rebel armies that strike Uganda from there including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). On Dec. 7, the ADF allegedly killed 14 Tanzanian soldiers who are a part of the rapid deployment force of MONUSCO, the U.N. peace-keeping army.

But in 2005 Uganda was found liable by the International Court of Justice for committing war crimes in the Congo, including mass killings and resource plunder, and ordered to pay $10 billion in reparations.

"It's not true," said Brig. Richard Karemire, spokesman for the UPDF, when contacted to comment about the alleged deployment.

When asked to confirm information from the military sources that prior to the deployment as many as five battalions were assembled near Gulu for two months of preparation and also whether the UPDF was coordinating operations with MONUSCO, the U.N. peace keeping force in Congo, Karemire said: "I have nothing more to share with you."

There have been questions about whether the ADF had the capability to conduct the operation that led to the deaths of the U.N. peace keepers. The MONUSCO barracks was reportedly under four hours of sustained attack and its communication lines were reportedly jammed.

There are questions as to whether Uganda was behind the attack, as a ruse to intervene in the Congo and divert attention from domestic political pressures faced by Gen. Yoweri Museveni, the country's long ruling dictator. There have been widespread protest against Museveni's bid to amend the constitution so he can run again. He's been in power 32 years and would be age-barred by 2021.

Asked if the United Nations could confirm a Ugandan deployment in the Congo, Hector Calderon, a spokesperson in New York, said "...we would advise you to speak to the relevant authorities in the DRC and Uganda for confirmation."

Asked if the U.N. could confirm that it was indeed the rebels who killed the MONUSCO soldiers, Calderon said "...the UN mission in DRC reports that the 14 Tanzanian peacekeepers were allegedly killed by ADF rebels but investigation is on-going to determine the circumstances."

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