By David Serumaga
Few days ago, a combined force of Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) elements drawn from infantry, motorized brigade, artillery, Armored and Special Forces Command (SFC) moved into Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They launched an attack operation (Shuja Operation) against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorist group which is camping in the forests of DRC North Kivu Province. The decision of UPDF going to Congo was reached upon by both country heads, United Nation, and African Union who realized that the security of people in Uganda and Congo is at a high risk when there is an active terror group which had so far killed dozens of people.
These operations against ADF came after some members had hit Uganda with bombs three weeks ago leaving innocent Ugandans dead, injured, properties destroyed and causing fear among our people.
When the ADF terrorists had started their inhuman and illegal activities on Ugandans, opposition politicians always reminded President Yoweri Museveni and the NRM government about their responsibility in protecting Ugandans. I know that our President as a security expert, does not work under pressure but rather decided to do consultations with the DRC leaders and understating the weakness and strength of the ADF terrorists.
So far, our courageous troops together with our Congolese comrades have achieved incredible successes. A number of these terrorists have already surrendered to the mighty UPDF, their camps destroyed, weapons captured among others. We appreciate our neighbors for the support and allowing Uganda to work on individuals who had waged a war against Africa. The Pan-African ideology should continue as we work together as African countries to neutralize the force of terror on any of the African countries, put more efforts in stabilizing the countries in the region and focus on economic development.
However, amidst the terror attack on Uganda, a few Members of Parliament have come up to condemn UPDF’s action of neutralizing the forces of terrors which tried to destabilize Uganda. They claim that our army went into DRC without Parliament’s approval which contradicts the constitution. However, seeking Parliamentary approval would not be safe for UPDF since there is no guarantee for information confidentiality because most of the time some MPs operate through media something which was going to disturb the joint force’s intelligence operations on ADF hence alerting the enemy of the intended attacks.
It is better and safe to update Parliament about the success Uganda has achieved in fighting ADF because it is risky to seek parliamentary approval when the enemy has agents here who can update their camp early hence distorting our plan of capturing, chasing and clearing the terrorist’s camps.
While he was appearing on one of the local media stations, the President of the Alliance for National Transformation, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu said, “such a sensitive deployment of our soldiers needs to be handled diligently mostly with people who are well-versed with security matters’’.
Parliamentarians who say that Article 124 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda was violated are wrong because the President of Uganda did not declare that a state of war exists between Uganda and any other country so it was not right to seek for parliamentary approval since we are working with DRC to abolish ADF terror group from North Kivu Province.
The President thought it wise to work with DRC leadership to neutralize the ADF terrorists from their camps as a way of protecting the Constitution of Uganda and to promote the welfare of the citizens and protect the territorial integrity of Uganda.
Based on that, the UPDF and the President considered protecting our constitution first, the lives of Ugandans and our territories as well as properties. This justifies that whatever is being done with our counterparts (DRC) against the ADF is not to undermine Parliament and the constitution but rather to strengthen them.
I must assure our Members of Parliament that a detailed report will be presented to them soon. We request them to give support to UPDF as they neutralize terror groups in Uganda and the East Africa as a region. They either surrender or face the wrath of UPDF!
By David Serumaga
Patriotic Ugandan and a Concerned Citizen