Ugandan minister for regional cooperation Mr. Asuman Kiyingi has revealed that the country has not given up on its warning to withdraw troops from Somalia.
A UN report leaked to the press recently accuses the East African nation of supporting M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
While speaking to the media, said that it was a ‘matter of time’ before the Kampala administration pulled her troops from the horn of Africa nation.
“If they think it’s a bluff, let them wait and see,” Mr. Kiyingi said.
“We said we were going to Somalia and people said we couldn’t go and manage. We are now telling them that we will withdraw because we cannot allow these lies intended to tarnish our image.” He added.
In the UN report, President Museveni’s brother, Gen. Salim Saleh; the Inspector General of Police, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura; the 2 Division commander, Brig. Patrick Kankiriho and the police director of counter terrorism unit, Mr. John Ndungutse, are accused of having close ties with the M23 rebels.
The report was an embarrassment to the Kampala government that had built a reputation in the eyes of the world as a nation that fights for peace in the great lakes region.
If the world body adopts the report, Uganda would see heavy sanctions slapped on it including travel bans on some of its leaders.
The crisis in the eastern DRC has been going on since April after Congolese soldiers mutinied forming the M23 rebel group claiming neglect by the Kinshasa government led by Joseph Kabila.
The chairperson of the UN Security Council-Counter terrorism committee, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, on Saturday said the report does not necessarily represent the position of the UN, following Uganda’s petition to the UN.
In a related development, Henry Oryem state minister for Foreign Affairs (International Affairs) while speaking to BBC radio this morning said the world body needs to apologize because the accusations cannot be taken lightly.
Uganda’s withdraw from the horn of Africa nation would be a big blow to the mission to pacify Somalia that has seen Islamic militants AL shabaab flushed out of the capital Mogadishu. Uganda contributes a big part of the UN sanction AMISOM troops in Somalia.