Sunday, October 28, 2012

Uganda Fury at Congo Claims: Somalia Operation Reviewed

25 October 2012
Last updated at 06:56 ET

Uganda fury at Congo claims: Somalia operation reviewed

Uganda supplies more troops to the AU mission than any other country

Uganda says is is reviewing the presence of its troops in Somalia, after the UN accused it of backing Democratic Republic of Congo rebels.

A senior Uganda minister told the BBC it had been "stabbed in the back" by the UN.

Asuman Kiyingi said Uganda could now suspend its involvement in Somalia, where it supplies the largest number of troops to the African Union mission.

The AU has helped government forces gain ground against Islamist militants.

Suicide attack

The report by a UN panel of experts last week said Rwanda and Uganda were both supplying weapons to the M23 rebels, whose insurrection has forced some 500,000 from their homes since April - charges both countries denied.

"We are reviewing our engagement in Somalia until these malicious allegations are withdrawn and the international community at the UN assure the people of Uganda that the sacrifices they are making are appreciated and recognised instead of being stabbed in the back the way that... report did," Mr Kiyingi told the BBC's Newsday programme.

He also said Uganda was reviewing the presence of its troops in the UN's peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic.

But analysts say the international community is likely to be more concerned about any threat to the AU mission in Somalia, which has played a key role in taking major towns from the al-Qaeda aligned al-Shabab militant group.

The UN helped broker a peace deal, which led to a new president being sworn in last month, raising hope of an end to more than two decades of anarchy in the country.

Despite being forced out of Mogadishu and Kismayo, al-Shabab continues to stage attacks in the capital and control large sections of the country.

In 2010, al-Shabab staged a suicide attack in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, killing more than 70 people.

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