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Uganda Accuses UN of ‘Preserving Terrorism’ in Neighboring DR Congo

© AFP 2021 / Isaac KasamaniThis file photo taken on February 16, 2016 shows Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni addressing supporters during a rally of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala
This file photo taken on February 16, 2016 shows Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni addressing supporters during a rally of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala - Sputnik International
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Uganda’s president chastised the United Nations for “preserving terrorism” in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a comment made during the investigation of a clash between UN peacekeepers and Congolese rebels that left dozens dead.

President Yoweri Museveni released a statement claiming that "the United Nations is responsible for preserving terrorism in the Democratic Republic of Congo," which he reportedly told UN officials during a Thursday meeting with investigators.

Two UN soldiers stand guard in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. (File) - Sputnik International
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The brief statement did not elaborate on what Museveni meant. The UN has not replied to Museveni's charge.

The investigators were in Uganda to investigate the Semuliki Attack, where Islamist militants with the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attacked UN and DRC forces in the embattled Kivu region, which borders Uganda in the far east of the DRC. Fifteen peacekeepers and five Congolese troops were killed, along with an unknown number of ADF fighters.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres described the attack on the peacekeepers as the worst in recent history.

Congolese police. Kinshasa, Congo(File) - Sputnik International
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After the battle, Uganda launched their own offensive against the ADF, destroying their camps in Congo with air and artillery strikes. Museveni has proven himself committed to keeping the ADF on the DRC side of the border, as Uganda's westernmost region is oil-rich and thus an attractive site for foreign investment — so long as it remains safe.

On Saturday, the DR Congo military also launched their own offensive against the ADF. "Since this morning, we have launched a general offensive against the ADF phenomena," said General Marcel Mbangu, commander in charge of Congo's North Kivu province, during a press conference.

"This is, for us, the final offensive. We will fight them until the end, until we have secured our territory."

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On Monday, The ADF launched a surprise attack against the DRC expeditionary force, killing three soldiers, but Kinshasa forces beat the rebels back.

The ADF is an Islamist rebel group that was founded by Ugandan Muslims to battle the secular government of Museveni. They have been a thorn in the side of Kampala and Kinshasa since 1995, but after multiple years of decline the group was regalvanized in 2013 when they merged with similar militant groups.

They have been accused of killing over 700 people since the new offensive began, as well as perpetrating a massacre in the city of Beni in August 2016 that killed at least 64.

Congolese army soldiers take cover during an assault on rebel-held Jomba, as they advance toward Bunagana, eastern Congo (File) - Sputnik International
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In 2010, the UN founded the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), a peacekeeping force meant to resolve the numerous territorial and tribal disputes that continue to plague Africa's second-largest country.

MONUSCO is the UN's largest peacekeeping force, with a fighting force of 18,300 — but they have proven ineffective in suppressing ADF violence and in controlling the ever-worsening crisis in the DRC. On Thursday, the UN called for $1.5 billion in additional funding for humanitarian missions to the DRC to prevent mass starvation.

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