Ugandan and Democratic Republic of Congo delegations led by their respective Ministers of Armed Forces have signed a general accord for cooperation on defense matters with the view to harmonize military operations against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group.
The discussions which took place in Bunia, chief town of the Ituri province of DR Congo and which started on Wednesday, Dec. 8, were carried out in the presence of senior military officers of the two countries, parliamentarians and members of the Defense and Security Commission of the Congolese National Assembly as well as parliamentarians of North Kivu and Ituri provinces origins.
The agreement was signed on Thursday, Dec. 9. The agreement is a culmination of work started in the past one year but which was accelerated within the past months before the beginning of the ongoing ground offensive against the ADF rebels.
Before the current joint offensive in the DR Congo, the two countries had put in place a joint intelligence unit on the ground in Beni and Bunia in DR Congo involving soldiers specialised in intelligence operations.
Similar intelligence units were also installed in Kasese, Kosoro, and Fort Portal in Uganda.
An intelligence task force has also been put in place on both sides of the border which produces joint intelligence reports on a daily basis.
The agreement signed yesterday is intended to formalise these initiatives and arrangements, according to a Ugandan military source.
The DR Congo Minister of Defense, General Gilbert Kabanda, declared that “the goal of this accord is to arrive at assuming the past and progress towards an integral military cooperation between the two countries”.
The United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Cong (MONUSCO) is not militarily implicated in these joint operations.
Meanwhile, discussions are still going on for the best way of sharing information and a more efficient coordination of action against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
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