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Army denies links to UNITA

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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will continue its work in Pakistan. (ICRC)

The Ugandan army has denied allegations that UNITA has received military aid from Kampala, the semi-official ‘New Vision’ reported today. “We have no links with UNITA. We see it as another way by Angola of diverting attention from its increasing internal woes,” the newspaper quoted an army source as saying. Last week, Reuters reported an unnamed Angolan military source as claiming that some UNITA soldiers were seen wearing Ugandan and Rwandan military uniforms. The Missionary Service News Agency (MISNA) quoted Angolan sources as alleging that Uganda had provided ammunition and Ukranian-built tanks to UNITA, flown into its bases in Andulo and Bailundo.

A regional security analyst in Cape Town told IRIN today that Ukranian T-55 tanks are being used by UNITA, but could not confirm who had supplied them. According to a London-based Angolan specialist, “arms for UNITA have been going through Kampala for a very long time, organised by South African arms dealers. Whether there is any actual support for UNITA by (President Yoweri) Museveni is unknown.” The specialist said rumours of a direct link have existed for several months since rebel leader Jonas Savimbi was reportedly spotted in Kampala. Following Angola’s military intervention in the DRC, Museveni told a press conference in September that Uganda would back UNITA unless Luanda withdrew.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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