The Minister for Internal Affairs Okello Oryem, has assured Ugandans that the UPDF will not loot anything from the Congolese soil as they continue with its military operation to flush out the ADF rebels.
The Ugandan army announced on 30 November that it had, along with its Congolese allies, launched air and artillery strikes against ADF camps in the DRC.
The information was later confirmed by the Congolese government.
In 2001, a report commissioned by the then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, showed that Uganda and Rwanda combatants’ looted the mineral wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo during three years of warfare.
Uganda, along with Rwanda, sent troops in 1998 to help rebels fighting against the Kinshasa government.
Speaking to one of the media houses Oryem, says Uganda has learned lessons from the mistakes committed before and now pledges transparency and assures there will be no plundering.
Recently, the Amnesty International called on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and adherence to international humanitarian law.
Sarah Jackson, the Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes said the situation remains volatile in eastern DRC as both Congolese and Ugandan forces continue to fight armed groups.
She said both the Congolese and the Ugandan armies have a track record of human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law in the area and they have rarely been held to account.
In 2005, the International Court of Justice ruled that the Ugandan army violated international humanitarian and human rights law during their military intervention in DRC between 1998 and 2003, including through failing to protect the civilian population, committing killings and torture of civilians and destroying villages.
Asked on the conduct of some of the soldiers that engage and impregnate women while on various foreign missions, Oryem said it is an act of “Pan Africanism” but quickly adds that punishments await them.