In his statement, Ssemujju said that the DRC government had briefed the country’s Parliament and gone ahead to obtain parliamentary clearance for the ongoing fighting in its provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.
The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Vincent
Ssempijja has sought more time from parliament to enable him formally present a
statement regarding the Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF entry into the Democratic Republic of Congo -DRC in pursuit of the Allied Democratic Forces –ADF
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among made the
revelation following a procedural matter raised by Ssemujju Nganda, the Kira Municipality
Member of Parliament.
In his statement, Ssemujju said that the Democratic
Republic of Congo- DRC government had briefed and went ahead to obtain
clearance from the country’s parliament about the ongoing fighting in the
provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.
“They briefed their parliament that they are doing
this with the help of Uganda People’s Defence Forces," said Ssemujju in part. "In fact for me Madam
Speaker, I came here thinking that the Government of Uganda will be seeking our
clearance and I came ready to give that clearance. But I see the Order Paper
that matter is not there.”
The legislator insisted that Uganda’s government
needed the authorization of parliament for the army to go into another country. He wondered whether the Speaker of Parliament had been notified about the development
and when the government intends to seek parliament’s clearance in regard to UPDF’s
involvement in Congo.
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In response, Deputy Speaker Anita Among recounted that
parliament on Tuesday asked the Minister of Defence, Vincent Ssempijja to
appear and present a statement on the matter and that the Minister has since
written to her noting that he would not be available this week. According to
Among, the Minister sought to present a statement on the matter on Tuesday next
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The Armed Forces of the DRC (Forces Armées
de la République Rémocratique du Congo -FARDC) in conjunction with Uganda
Peoples Defense Forces –UPDF on Tuesday launched an attack on the ADF rebel
bases in Watalinga Chiefdom of Beni
Territory and North Kivu province.
The UPDF Spokesperson, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso reported that the UPDF had launched joint air and artillery strikes against ADF camps with
their Congolese allies.
This follows four separate bomb blasts in Uganda in
the month of November that claimed lives of at least 10 people and left several
others injured. The Uganda government has blamed the four attacks on ADF.
Different local sources told Uganda Radio Network-
URN that several detonations and heavy weapons were heard in the area in the
morning hours of Tuesday targeting ADF positions in the Kichanga region near
During a press conference held on Monday, Spokespersons
for the FARDC, General Léon-Richard Kasonga, and the Congolese National Police,
Léon Richard Kasonga confirmed that there was a collaboration or pooling
of efforts between the Congolese and Ugandan armies, in particular, to put an
end to the terrorism perpetrated by the Ugandan rebels of the ADF.
The national deputy and president of the Group of
deputies of the 26 provinces of the DRC, Gratien Iracan, indicates that
"the joint intervention of the armies of Uganda and the DRC to track down
the negative forces which destabilize the region of Ituri and North Kivu could
be an effective solution to stop the massacres in the DRC."