President Yoweri Museveni has dismissed a UN report accusing Ugandan troops of committing of killing civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a pack of lies. He however told journalists at Entebbe State House that he has not yet found time to read the report himself.
Museveni directed his top military commanders to study the report and respond accordingly to the accusations which he likened to fiction writing. The president was yesterday addressing local and international journalists on his meeting with a top level delegation of the UN Security Council heading to Sudan.
The delegation led by Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda's permanent representative to the UN also included Ambassador Susan Rice, a member of Obama'a cabinet and US representative to the UN.
Museveni said that troops from Uganda could never kill or rape women because such culprits would be killed on the spot. He told his legal team to publish the number of UPDF soldiers who were executed for killing or raping women.
The president said that just before pulling his troops from Congo, a survey was done by Uganda to ask all those with complaints to bring them forward, as a way of ensuring accountability.
Museveni was responding to a recent UN report that said Ugandan, Rwandan and Burundian soldiers could have committed acts of genocide against the Hutu population in DR Congo in the 1990s.
The report goes ahead to ask the international community to punish those responsible for the atrocities against the Congolese civilians.The Security Council delegation discussed with Museveni various matters related to regional security in Somalia, the Sudan and threats posed by the LRA.
On LRA, the delegation promised to help Uganda and other countries in the region to conclusively deal with threats posed by the Lord's Resistance Army, believed to be holed up in the Central African Republic.
On Somalia, the delegation thanked Museveni and the Ugandan government for the solidarity they have shown in sending troops to pacify the war-torn Somalia. It promised support to the AU mission in Somalia – AMISOM.
Rugunda, the current chair of the Security Council, said they were heading to Susan to re-affirm the UN's commitment and demand for an orderly, peaceful and timely holding of the referendum in South Sudan. He said that the international community would firmly stand behind Sudan to ensure a peaceful referendum exercise is held to determine whether the South secedes from Khartoum.
The UN delegation heads to the Sudan to try to avert a new looming civil war by ensuring there is no delay on a January referendum on independence for its oil-producing south.
The referendum on whether semi-autonomous southern Sudan should secede or remain under control of Khartoum in the north is scheduled to be held January 9, the same day as a referendum in the disputed oil-rich region of Abyei on whether it should remain with the north or join the south.
Preparations for both referendums are behind schedule and Security Council diplomats want to impress on the Sudanese that the votes must go ahead on time in the interests of avoiding the renewal of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2005.
U.S. President Obama at a high-level U.N meeting last month said that what happens in Sudan is important to the region and world and any mistake could see the country either move forward toward peace or slip backwards into bloodshed.
The UN Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and has a primary mandate to maintain international peace and security.
Its presidency is rotational on a monthly basis and Uganda is currently heading the council for the month of October.