New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Officials Meet UN Security Council

A Ugandan team led by Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda meets the UN Security Council on Monday to deliver the country's stand on Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) accusation.

A government spokesman said officials from Kampala plan to meet members of the U.N. Security Council.

This follows a recent UN report which accused Uganda of supporting the M23 rebel group in neighbouring DR Congo.

According to Voice of America, Fred Opolot, who is also the executive director for Uganda's Media Center, said the administration will decide its next line of action after the meeting with the Security Council.

"Uganda is extremely cautious that it gets a consensus on the views [of Security Council members] as regards the outrageous allegations made by the group of experts that Uganda was involved in the DRC conflict," said Opolot.

"After the meeting with the Security Council, the minister of ICT [Information Communication and Technology] Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda will return to Uganda while other meetings will take place before a decision will be arrived at."

Earlier this month, a leaked U.N. report accused both Uganda and Rwanda of giving military support to DRC rebels. Both countries have since denied the allegation.

Opolot said officials have delivered Uganda's position to the Security Council.

He said the government will reevaluate its commitment to providing troops to peacekeeping efforts in Africa.

"Certainly Uganda is expressing its displeasure in that outrageous report, and it will reconsider its position in as far as all peace efforts are concerned in the region," said Opolot.

Uganda has threatened to pull its troops from African peacekeeping missions, including the one in Somalia, because of a U.N. report that accuses Kampala of supporting Congolese rebels.

Opolot said Kampala still enjoys warm diplomatic relations with Kinshasa despite the report, which accused Uganda of supporting DRC-based rebels.

"The relationships between Uganda and the DRC are normal and Uganda is interested in the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the DRC," he said.

"We have certainly engaged the [President Joseph] Kabila government to ensure that he expressly comes out with a clear position on the UN report. But as of now, he has not overtly condemned Uganda."

Meanwhile, Somali's Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid said his country's stability could be challenged if Kampala pulls out its troops from the African Union's Peacekeeping Mission (AMISOM).

Ugandan forces form the bulk of AMISOM's troops fighting militant group al-Shabab in Somalia.

"Uganda has ensured that normalcy is attained in Mogadishu and the wider Somalia Republic. So, if at all it has to take such a decision, it won't take it lightheartedly. It will take it with all seriousness," said Opolot.

Vision Reporter and Agencies

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