PM SAYS UGANDA TO WITHDRAW PEACEKEEPERS FROM SOMALIA
Uganda will tell the United Nations it is withdrawing its forces from military operations in Somalia and other regional hotspots after the world body accused it of supporting Congolese rebels, the country’s security minister has said.
Wilson Mukasa said on Friday that the decision was irreversible and another cabinet minister would explain Uganda’s position at the United Nations in New York.
UN diplomats said that the Ugandan delegation, led by special envoy and information minister Ruhakana Rugunda, has not so far threatened to withdraw troops from international peacekeeping missions during discussions with UN officials in New York this week.
A read-out of the Ugandan delegation’s meeting on Friday with Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, the president of the UN security council this month, also made no mention of threats to pull out troops.
Ugandan troops account for more than a third of the 17,600 UN-mandated African peacekeepers battling al-Shabab rebels in Somalia and their withdrawal could hand an advantage to the al-Qaeda linked group.
Its soldiers, backed by US special forces, are also leading the hunt for fugitive Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony in the Central African Republic, with some stationed in South Sudan.
In a leaked report, a group of UN experts last month accused Uganda and Rwanda of supporting the so-called M23 rebel group commanded by Bosco Ntaganda, a warlord indicted by the International Criminal Court.
India’s statement said the Ugandan delegation expressed “grave concern” about the report of the Group of Experts, and added that the Security Council’s Congo sanctions committee had yet to formally consider the experts’ report.
Puri noted that “views expressed by the independent experts do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations,” the statement said. It added that Uganda was an important UN troop contributor playing a vital role in Somalia and elsewhere.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a Ugandan writer and blogger. Studied information technology with major interests in Journalism.He is passionate about sports but at times ventures into other fields
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