By Spy Uganda
Senior presidential advisor on special operations and former UPDF land forces commander, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has disclosed his support for the M23 fighters that have since put President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi‘s government on tension.
The M23, a primarily Congolese Tutsi militia, is one of more than 120 armed groups active in eastern DRC. It briefly captured Goma, the capital of North Kivu, in 2012 but a joint offensive by UN troops and the Congolese army quelled the rebellion.
M23 resumed fighting late last year accusing the Congolese government of failing to respect a 2009 agreement under which its fighters were to be incorporated into the national army.
Muhoozi via his Twitter handle last night revealed that it is risky to continue fighting against the insurgents, and indicated that they should cease looking at them as terrorists but rather a force fighting for the rights of the minority Tutsi in the DRC.
”As for M23, I think it is very, very dangerous for anybody to fight those brothers of ours. They are not terrorists! They are fighting for the rights of the Tutsi in DRC,” Muhoozi tweeted.
According to Congo government, the militants allegedly backed by Rwanda, seek to control lucrative trade in sought-after minerals, including gold, tungsten, copper and cobalt, which are abundant in the east.
Meanwhile, Muhoozi’s statements are not in any way different from those of Uganda’s former EALA legislator, Hon Fred Mukasa Mbidde who said recently that the M23 militias are freedom fighters.
In DR Congo, Mbidde noted, there is a momentum geared towards, and against, ethnic Tutsi Congolese.
“These are Congolese nationals. There is a desire that has been occasioned by the (Congolese) government; fearing that former President Joseph Kabila is also intending to return (in next year’s presidential election). And he rides, usually, on avenues calculated to indicate to the Congolese that the more aninetity (strong animosity) and incendiary acts that you administer against the Banyamulenge and Tutsi Congolese should win you substantial votes from the average Congolese. It is now becoming a campaign platform that is orchestrated by those (main contesting) camps. And in my opinion that is going to cause, again, further factors and combinations within the Congo. So, the fighting entity, particularly M23 are just nationals being denied, first of all, their nationality and second, land rights, particularly communal rights,” Mbidde said.
Mbidde said Kinshasa’s inability to possess a substantial force that can guide and govern the country and protect it, resulted into it “using the FDLR as a mercenary force” by the Congolese government and army against any intended targets.
“This mercenary force has got its ideological anchor chain. It has got a substantial ideological umbilical chord that cannot be cut (from) the genocide in Rwanda against the Tutsi that took place three decades ago. Now, the FDLR that are fugitives and dissidents, once armed by a government and given diplomatic and security cover, ammunition and all sorts of capacity, is now again posing a danger … as they attempt to be used as a mercenary tool against the M23. In my opinion, this is all a recipe for further incendiary disaster for the East African region,” he added.