UPDF denies involvement in ongoing fighting in Eastern DRC's Rutshuru

UPDF denies involvement in ongoing fighting in Eastern DRC's Rutshuru
Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye

The UPDF  has refuted claims that the Ugandan forces are aiding M23 rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo’s territory, Rutshuru.

On Thursday, in a series of posts shared on X (formerly Twitter), Jules Mulumba, the spokesperson of rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), also known as Wazalendo, claimed that UPDF  had been spotted in Kitchanga-Sake axis heading to Bunagana to join the M23 rebels.

“The Ugandan army with its artillery is in full maneuver in support of that of Kagame but we will resist them until the end. Here it is on the Kitchanga-Sake axis. Vengeance will be tenfold. Save this date," Mulumba posted on X.

However, in a statement army spokesperson Brig Felix Kulayigye dismissed Mulumba’s claims as false and baseless.

He explained that the purported photos of UPDF forces used by Mulumba to justify his claims were taken long ago when Uganda’s contingent to East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) was in Tsengero general areas on Bunagana – Rutshuru to Goma Axis and not sake.

“The UPDF takes exception upon the falsehoods being spread by Mr. Jules Mulumba that the UPDF is in Rutshuru! In an attempt to authenticate his desperate claims, he uses photos of our force that were part of East African Community Regional Force (EACRF),” Kulayigye stated.

The spokersperson further maintained that the UPDF has no intentions of involving itself in the DRC internal conflicts, except when it is a regional peace effort.

Previously, Ugandan and Rwandan forces have been accused of involvement in fightings in Eastern DRC territories of Rutshuru and Masisi, but both sides have denied the claims.

Since November 2023, fights between M23 rebels and DRC government forces have intensified as the former attempt to capture Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province.

Rutsuru  has witnessed upsurge in fighting as rebel group M23 advances toward Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province.

The escalating violence in Rutshuru territory has already forced more than 100,000 people, half of them children, to flee within just a few day.

 

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