UN Lauds Joint Military Operations By Uganda, DR Congo

According to the UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, the good relations between the UN and the Congolese authorities are a reason for optimism.

The United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, has expressed satisfaction with the joint military operations currently going on in eastern DR Congo by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and the DR Congo national army, FARDC.

Lacroix said this at the end of his recent evaluation visit to DR Congo.

“I was just speaking a short while ago about coordinated security cooperation between states of the region and that is what is happening now with the cooperation of the DR Congo and the forces of Uganda. We have made a lot of progress in the field of coordination. We are with the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo and also, as concerns this necessary cooperation with these operations which are carried out with the support of the Ugandan forces,” Lacroix said. 

“In the beginning, it took some time in ensuring that there would at the same time be good coordination and then that we would eliminate all the risks of what we call incidents today; things are going on in good conditions of coordination. There are results which are translated by the fact that ADF bases have been dismantled or weakened. The ADF themselves are fragmenting but some ADF elements have the tendency to flee towards zones where the Congolese army and the Ugandan army are fewer or less present or not present at all,” the UN official added.

He also mentioned that there should be deployment and adaptation, and called for a sub-regional approach. 

According to Lacroix, “this thus presents complementary challenges that must be treated in coordination with the DR Congo national army, FARDC. Yes, there are results. It is important however that there should be active communication on these results because there have been bases, there have been ADF camps which had been attacked and neutralised resulting in the degradation of the capacities of the ADF.”

“Meanwhile, it is clear that the challenges of the ADF in addition to their terrorist tendencies which are characterised by these attacks with improvised explosive devices, these bomb attacks, it is a challenge which necessitates a lot of resilience, patience and determination. These cannot be treated within some weeks or months. The question of terrorism requires regional cooperation because, by definition, it is a phenomenon which transcends borders and that has been evoked several times during the Kinshasa summit,” Lacroix said.

The UN official noted that, unfortunately, the situation of insecurity does not concern only the activities of the ADF.

“It should not be forgotten that the ADF is an important active group but there are several others. We have just spoken of  CODECO in Ituri, Zaire, not to talk of what we call the small north or again, South Kivu”, the UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations declared.

According to him, the good relations between the UN and the Congolese authorities are a reason for optimism.

“We have very good cooperation, a very good spirit of confidence with the Congolese authorities, including at the highest level. That motivates us and we are going to keep up with the spirit, we are going to work towards continuing to adapt our means, do the maximum and that corresponds with what we have done, concerning the mandate assigned to us”, the UN official concluded.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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