Uganda refutes claims of supporting FDLR

KIGALI - A top Ugandan army official Thursday strongly refuted allegations in the explosive report from a UN group of experts which cites Uganda as a transit route for FDLR weapons and recruits. The report says the rebels have been recruiting massively from Rwandan refugee camps in Uganda, particularly in Nakivale and Kyaka II camps, “under the noses of the Ugandan military which is supposed to have been preventing this.”  

KIGALI - A top Ugandan army official Thursday strongly refuted allegations in the explosive report from a UN group of experts which cites Uganda as a transit route for FDLR weapons and recruits.

The report says the rebels have been recruiting massively from Rwandan refugee camps in Uganda, particularly in Nakivale and Kyaka II camps, “under the noses of the Ugandan military which is supposed to have been preventing this.”

Uganda army (UPDF) and defence spokesperson, Lt. Col Felix Kulayigye, told The New Times that the claims have ‘no speck of truth’ but noted that investigations into the matter would be launched to bring things to light.

“It is absolute nonsense – we as the UPDF are well known to be behind Rwanda in fighting Interahamwe or FDLR. We would be the last people to support Interahamwe,” Kulayigye said, adding that his country supports the Rwandan government’s efforts in repatriating the refugees.

He pointed an accusing finger at the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, saying: “The UNHCR should tell us – they are in charge of these camps, there is no military presence in the camps.”

The FDLR is an outfit that operates in the eastern DRC and it is mainly composed of elements responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

The report details a vast international network that allegedly includes Spanish charities, Ukrainian arms dealers, corrupt African officials and even secret North Korean weapons shipments.  It also names neighbours Burundi and Tanzania as having dealings with FDLR.

Rwanda army spokesperson Maj. Jill Rutaremara declined to comment on the allegations against the country’s neighbours, referring this reporter to the implicated countries because as he said, “they are the ones in position to clarify on what they are allegedly doing.”

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