President Yoweri Museveni and his army generals have resolved that Uganda must pull out of Somalia, the Security Minister has revealed.
Hon. Wilson Muruli Mukasa told press on Friday at the Uganda Media Centre that Uganda is withdrawing its forces from all foreign countries with the view to consolidate internal security.
“We have proposed to the United Nations that we want to withdraw our forces from Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Somali in order to concentrate on our own security,” said Muruli.
This follows a recent report leaked by the United Nations (UN) showing that Uganda was supporting M23 rebels in the Eastern region of DRC.
Muruli said they had sent a representative in the United States to present their proposal to the UN.
“As we talk, Ruhakana Rugunda is in the US to deliver our message to the Secretary Council and Secretary General of the UN,” he said.
Muruli said government’s decision to pull out troops from regional countries is “irreversible” because “that’s what we have decided.”
He again clarified that Uganda has never given “any single form of assistance or military training” to the M23 who mutinied in April, accusing Kinshasha of reneging on its commitments in the 2009 peace agreement that incorporated them (initially called CNDP) in the Congo army (FARDC).
“Why do people want to tarnish our name? After all the sacrifices we have made to help our neighbors and ensure there is stability in the region. Therefore let us watch our country and make sure there is enough security,” said Muruli.
“Whoever wants to cause us trouble, will have to find us in our country,” he added.
The Ugandan troops are in Somalia on a UN and African Union mandate.
Uganda was enraged when UN “experts” said the Kampala government was sending military equipment and recruits to support M23.
The leaked report came at a time when Museveni had convinced M23 rebels on the request of regional leaders to give truce a chance so as to create an atmosphere for peace talks with Kinshasha.
Ugandan leaders described the report as a “clear case of backstabbing.”
Matters were worsened when DRC President Joseph Kabila held a press conference, saying Uganda must be “forthcoming” with information regarding the UN report.
Chimpreports security correspondents say Uganda’s decision will surely tilt regional security balance in and also give room for the spread of Islamic extremism and violence. UPDF-led AMISOM saw the fall of Mogadishu and subsequent pacification of Somalia after failed efforts by the Ethiopian army and US forces.
Uganda’s forces also helped South Sudan achieve independence from the Khartoum dictatorship through support to SPLA and also Rwanda Patriotic Front to defeat the genocidal regime in Rwanda.
Muruli also denied media reports that Internal Security Organization was clashing with Police.
“I don’t know any clash with police because we both have clear mandates in the constitution,” he said.
“We also have a Joint Intelligence Committee with technical security experts. However, intelligence is gathered on any matters from open sources and they seat everyday so if there was any problem with police, I would know that.”