AU: UPDF Will Not Withdraw From CAR

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the African Union Commission chairperson.

Wanted LRA Leader Joseph Kony
Wanted LRA Leader Joseph Kony

The Uganda Peoples Defence Force will not withdraw troops from the Central African Republic, an African Union envoy has said.

Francisco Madeira, the AU special envoy on LRA, has said the AU mission in Central African Republic will go on unhampered after consensus was reached from a meeting the official had with the Ugandan Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kuteesa and Defense minister Chrispus Kiyonga.

In his statement, Francisco holds that the mission in CAR is led by the African Union and is a decision that was made by sovereign states and the AU will continue to uphold this decision.

The statement comes in light of recent developments in the country where the democratically elected president Francois Bozize was overthrown by the Seleka rebels. The African Union is yet to recognise the change of government.

Madeira further says the mission will be harmonized after he visits the embattled country soon.

UPDF deputy spokesperson Major Robert Ngabirano, affirms that the decision was communicated to the force and that arrangements are in place to re-deploy the 2000 armed men back to their original areas.

Mr. Abou Moussa, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) also drummed up support for the mission saying the United Nations is closely watching the situation given the gross negative impact of the Lords Resistance Army rebels on human rights.

The military component of the LRA is the major target for the forces currently operating in the country.

Despite the assurances of a continuation to the mission, it remains to be seen if the Seleka rebels, who have been branded ‘illegitimate’ by the African Union, will accept the forces to operate in a country they are running.

UPDF forces have been in CAR for over a year in pursuit of LRA warlord Joseph Kony.

A bounty of 13bn shillings has been placed on his head by the United States government.

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