THE Uganda government has denied deploying troops in Kenya to interfere in the ethnic violence sparked off by alleged vote rigging in the December 27 presidential elections.
Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa, said his government did not deploy any members of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) to shoot at Kenyans.
Kutesa was responding to a Ugandan newspaper report published last week that the country’s security personnel shot a number of Kenyans.
“What happened is that there were vehicles with Ugandan registration numbers. They were seen in Kisumu (in Kenya) and the occupants were wearing civilian clothes.
They were shooting and they killed quite a number of civilians in Kisumu,” the newspaper quoted Odinga in his interview aired a day before on an affiliate FM radio station.
But Kutesa said: “There is absolutely no truth in that allegation. The Uganda Government has not deployed any member of the UPDF or the security forces in Kenya at all.”
He added: “It is preposterous to allege that Ugandans are shooting at Kenyans yet Uganda is hosting many Kenyan refugees running away from the regrettable crisis.”
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is the only leader that congratulated President Mwai Kibaki for beating Odinga in a widely disputed election, which culminated into massive ethnic violence across the country leaving more than 600 people killed, thousands displaced and property worth millions destroyed.
Kutesa said Uganda was eager to maintain better working relations with Nairobi and find a lasting solution to the crisis.
“The Uganda government will continue working with all parties in Kenya in search of a peaceful and lasting solution to the current crisis. It is therefore in the best interest of our two countries that such reckless statements, like that made by Daily Monitor newspaper, are avoided for the good of our two sister countries and harmony among our peoples,” Kutesa said in a statement.