President Yoweri Museveni has met and briefed the United Nations about the UPDF raids on Allied Democratic Forces(ADF) camps in the DRC
The UPDF earlier last week launched artillery and air strikes against four ADF camps including Yayuwa, Tondoli, Beni I and Beni II in an operation code-name Shuja, a Kiswahili word for bravery.
The Ugandan army has since established a Forward Operating Base inside DRC , 19 kilometres from the Uganda border to support operations against the rebel group that was recently designated as a terror organization.
On Tuesday, the president held a meeting with the representatives of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resident in Uganda at State House Entebbe and emphasized that Muslims of Uganda are not extremists and that they despise terrorism because they are part of the Ugandan society.
Museveni said the idea of Islamic extremism was a creation by some opportunistic foreign actors “who were defeated”, but warned if not handled well, it could become a serious problem.
The president said while the ADF claim to be an Islamic armed group, their ideology is not attractive and has been resented by many, forcing them to resort to abductions and killings.
“Terrorists are those who go for soft targets. You become a terrorist not because you are armed or fighting but because you go for soft targets. We had a long discussion with President Tshisekedi and the others before him but the problem of Eastern Congo was not solved and it was getting worse,” Museveni said.
He explained that whereas the ADF had earlier been involved in killing of Muslim clerics in Uganda, the situation worsened with the recent bombings in Kampala, making it inevitable for the raids on their camps.
“A few weeks ago, they came and planted bombs here. They(ADF) had been suppressed but were now coming up again,” he said.
The meeting was aimed at sharing views on recent developments in the region and agree on common way forward in line with the principle of association with the “holy trinity” which invite action from local, regional and international levels in support of peace and security efforts in the region.
The Heads of Mission included Vladlen Semivolos (Russia), Zhang Lizhong (China), Jules-Armand Aniambossou, (France), Natalie E. Brown (USA) and Kate Airey (UK).
On the other side, non-permanent members included Kiema Kilonzo (Kenya), Elin Ostebo Johansen (Norway), A Ajay Kumar (India) and Kevin Colgan (Ireland).
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeje Odong, the Chief of Defence Forces in the UPDF, Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi and the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs Vincent Ssempijja Bamulangaki among others.