Ugandan Foreign Minister Eriya Kategaya has clarified that his country will completely withdraw its forces from Basankusu, Zongo, Gemena, Gbadolite, Lisala in northwestern DRC: Bafwasende, Isiro, Butembo, Beni in northeastern DRC; and Kanyabayongo in eastern DRC. “The government will continue to examine the wisdom of maintaining a presence in Buta and Bunia,” Ugandan radio quoted a statement from Kategaya’s office as saying. It said that Uganda would maintain troops on the western slopes of the Ruwenzori mountains until “when the country’s security interests have been addressed in accordance with the Lusaka peace agreement”. “The government has decided that Uganda remains a party to the Lusaka peace agreement and arrangements under it, the full implementation of which remains the only viable solution to the crisis in the DRC,” the statement said.
It said that Ugandan government would propose to all members of the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to become active players in the implementation of the Lusaka peace agreement. “The government of Uganda calls on parties concerned to implement the Lusaka peace agreement without any further delay,” it said. “However, the government of Uganda reserves the right to withdraw unilaterally from the DRC and the Lusaka peace agreement if it continues to be dissatisfied with the apparent lack of political will to bring peace to the DRC and the region by implementing the Lusaka peace agreement faithfully and promptly as originally envisaged.” The decision was made by Uganda’s cabinet after “careful consideration of the recommendations received from the relevant organs of government and having noted the contents of the letter addressed to the president from the UN Secretary-General.
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