UPDF Denies Presence in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Rutshuru

The Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have vehemently denied claims of military presence in the Rutshuru territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The denial comes in response to allegations spread by Jules Mulumba, spokesperson for the rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), also known as ‘Wazalendo.’ Mr. Mulumba’s assertions were allegedly supported by photographs depicting Ugandan troops. However, the UPDF, in a statement released by Army spokesperson Felix Kulaigye, maintains that these images represent their contingent within the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) deployed in the Tsengero area along the Bunagana-Rutshuru-Goma axis, not within Rutshuru itself. According to the UPDF statement, Mr. Mulumba’s accusations aim to justify recent losses suffered by the M23 rebel group in clashes with Congolese forces. They further condemn his fabrication as an attempt to implicate Uganda in an internal conflict within the DRC, emphasizing their engagement only occurs within the framework of regional peace efforts. The alleged presence of Ugandan troops in Rutshuru has stoked tensions in the region, amid concerns over the complex history of conflict in eastern DRC, involving numerous armed groups vying for control of resources and strategic territory. The deployment of the EACRF, including Ugandan soldiers, aimed to de-escalate tensions and contribute to a sustainable peace process.”