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Uganda, Congo Defence Ministers Sign Security Agreement

In their joint communiqué, the two countries reaffirmed and endorsed that the pooling of forces aims to track down all armed groups and negative forces, specifically the ADF, and create stability in Eastern DRC.
Minister Ssempijja (in a black suit) with Congolese officials in Ituri
Uganda and Congolese Defence Ministries have signed a defense and security agreement aimed at conducting operations against armed groups specifically Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in Ituri and North Kivu provinces.

The agreement was signed on Thursday night in Bunia, Ituri province by the Ugandan Defense Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, and the Congolese Defence Minister Gilbert Kabanda.   In their joint communiqué, the two countries reaffirmed and endorsed that the pooling of forces aims to track down all armed groups and negative forces, specifically the ADF, and create stability in Eastern DRC.

“It is a general agreement but a framework for pooling our armed forces which are in progress, in particular in the fight against the ADF. You know, that the ADF is an enemy of both Congo and Uganda, it is quite normal that we can fight against each other. If there are local armed groups that are straddling the Congo and Uganda, the agreement will expand,” Kabanda said. 

Patrick Muyaya, Congolese Minister of Media and government spokesperson said that 31 Congolese that were taken hostage by the ADF have so far been released and 30 ADF terrorists captured.  Muyaya welcomed the progress made so far in the joint FARDC-UPDF operations in the territories of Irumu in Ituri and Beni in North Kivu.

He assures the populations of the DRC and Uganda that the operations will continue to be carried out with strict respect for human rights while respecting the sovereignty of these two countries.  

At least 1,700 Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers are already deployed in Eastern Democratic of Congo for a joint operation with FARDC against the ADF, according to an insider security source in DR Congo.

According to the security source, the soldiers include special forces and infantry deployed with their artillery and armor. Meanwhile, six people were on Wednesday evening killed by suspected ADF rebels in the commune of Mangina, 30 kilometers west of the town of Beni.

Kakule Vunyatsi, President of the civil society in Mangina, said that the suspected rebels attacked the Dara cell in the Masimbembe neighborhood and also looted pharmacies and houses.

Vunyatsi, says that the attack comes after three days of alert on the presence of armed combatants in the region.    

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