The Ugandan embassy has joined Ugandans in the Democratic Republic of Congo to celebrate the country’s 61st Independence Day.
Speaking during an event held on November, 19 at Fleuve Congo Hotel in Kinshasa, Uganda’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, John Mulimba said the belated celebrations are yet another avenue for strengthening ties between the two brotherly countries of Uganda and DRC.
“Uganda and the DRC enjoy warm and cordial bilateral relations, guided by the vision of the two presidents based on socio-economic transformation of their societies and Pan-Africanism. A testimony to this, was the holding of the 8th session of the Joint Permanent Commission, hosted by the DRC from 12 to 15 October, 2023, which among other key decisions, removed entry visa requirements for the nationals of the two countries. This particular decision will go a long way in strengthening and deepening the bilateral relations between the two countries for the mutual prosperity of their two peoples,”Mulimba said.
He saluted President Felix Tshisekedi for hosting the 8th Joint Permanent Commission in Kinshasa.
“We felt at home, discussed freely, in a pure spirit of brotherhood that demonstrates the common shared history, culture and destiny that exists between the two peoples of the two countries.”
He underscored the relationship between Uganda and DRC as two neighbouring countries with rich natural resources and a large population and recognise the importance of regional stability and economic cooperation for a mutual benefit.
“To that end, the two countries cooperate to promote peace and security, cross-border trade, infrastructure development and regional integration as a cornerstone for the socio-economic transformation of our two societies and ultimately development of our two countries.”
Minister Mulimba also saluted UPDF and FADRC soldiers serving under Operation Shujaa for their sacrifice in eliminating negative forces operating in eastern DRC.
“This is clear demonstration that the bilateral relations between the two countries is cemented by the blood of our soldiers. I request us to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of those soldiers who have lost their lives and those who have gone injured in defending the territorial integrity of the two countries.”
Uganda’s ambassador to DRC, Farid Kaliisa applauded DRC for its friendship and support to Uganda in many aspects and for a number of years.
“Our two countries share a strong bond of friendship and cooperation, and I am confident that our relationship will continue to grow stronger in the years to come,”Kaliisa said.
He also addressed social media claims that Uganda had grabbed DRC land in Busanza in Kisoro district that he dismissed as being untrue.
“Uganda as a land-linked country cannot and will not take any piece of land of a neighbouring country, let alone the sisterly country of DRC. This is the work of our enemies who normally feel hurt whenever they see the bilateral relations between DRC and Uganda deepening. If there are any disagreements between the two countries, just the way brothers or sisters may have a problem at home, there are robust mechanisms we have put in place to address them.”
Ambassador Kaliisa said the border issue will be addressed by border committees of the two countries as directed by the 8th session of the Joint Permanent Commission.