Who killed the 15 Tanzanian UN peace keepers?
WHO KILLED THE 15 TANZANIAN PEACE KEEPERS???
Through their selfish military expeditions, both Museveni and Kagame greatly contributed to the instability of eastern DRC. They were only forced out of the Congo by international pressure but for economic and geopolitical selfish interests, they have since then maintained proxies in the form of local armed militias in the troubled area.
In early 2013 the UN Security Council endorsed a special brigade for the stabilization of Congo comprised of troops from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania.
Within a short period, the force had defeated the main rebel group, the M23 who fled mostly to Uganda where Museveni placed them in a military barracks at Bihanga which has been their base to this day.
Both Museveni and Kagame were aggrieved by the involvement of Tanzania, a member of the East African Community (EAC) for attacking and defeating their proxies (M23).
Actually, there is a high possibility that had it not been for Tanzania’s involvement, both Uganda and Rwanda would have thrown their full military strength behind the M23 to put up a resistance.
If that had been the case, the geopolitical consequences would have been dire. However, matters were made worse by the then Tanzania President, Jakaya Kikwete when, out of good faith and in a Pan Africanist spirit suggested that the leaders of DRC, Rwanda and Uganda ought to hold talks with their armed political opposition groups if peace was to prevail in the Great Lakes Region.
Kabila and Museveni did not give their reaction but Kagame bitterly rejected the suggestion describing it as outrageous and unacceptable to talk to those who committed genocide.
Addressing a youth conference in Kigali on the 30th June 2013 he said; …….I will just wait for you at the right place and will hit you”.
The question of whether he fulfilled that pledge or not is debatable but what is clear is that he keeps his promise.
They went ahead to isolate Tanzania from the EAC by forming the Coalition of the Willing (COWI) comprised of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
However, when Kikwete left the political scene, the two military dictators jumped back into opportunistically normalising relations with Tanzania.
In January 2015 with the logistical backing of the UN troops, the Congolese Army launched an Operation Sukola against the ADF rebels in North Kivu.
In April 2015, the leader of the Ugandan eastern DRC based ADF rebel group, Jamil Mukulu was arrested in Tanzania.
Though no formal extradition treaty exists between the two countries, Museveni had wanted Mukulu just to be handed over to him but Tanzania opted to subject the matter to some form of a judicial process.
During that time, in May 2015 suspected ADF rebels ambushed a UN convoy at Oicha, 20kms north of Beni and killed two Tanzanian peace keepers, injured 26 and four were feared to have been taken hostage.
On 7th May 2015 this website wrote an article; ” ADF KILLS TANZANIAN PEACE KEEPERS” – WHAT A COINCIDENCE!!. We argued that the attack on Tanzanian peace keepers allegedly by ADF rebels would influence the outcome of Mukulu’s extradition proceedings.
On 5th June 2015, we wrote another article; JAMILI MUKULU WILL NOT GET JUSTICE UNDER THE MUSEVENI REGIME.
We rightly argued that at best he would be detained without trial. Jamil Mukulu was extradited to Uganda and the last time Ugandans heard about him was when he was yelling in the Nalufenya torture dungeons when among other forms of torture, he had been forced to eat pork.
Interestingly, in February 2016 the UN Group of Experts released a report that exonerated the ADF from the May 2015 attack on peace keepers.
It instead implicated the Congolese army as having ambushed and killed the Tanzanian peace keepers.
The report went ahead to report that the attack was motivated by reports by civilians that “the Tanzanian peace keepers were providing supplies to the ADF”.
The head of the UN Mission in Congo, Sambo Sadoku had this to say; “…. our investigations showed that it was the ADF that attacked, and now there are new allegations and we will lead a more in-depth inquiry”.
Around December 2016, reports of former M23 rebel fighters escaping from the military camp in Bihanga and sneaking back to Congo for fresh rebellion were ripe.
As usual the Museveni regime vehemently denied but in February 2017, it conceded that indeed the fighters were escaping. It even pretended to be carrying out operations around the border areas in order to intercept the fleeing M23.
In one such incident, a UPDF Corporal, Ochana was shot dead while another soldier was fatally injured around Mgahinga National Park.
In late December 2016, this website had authored an article; WHY IS THE WORLD SILENT ON RESURGENCE OF M23 REBELLION? and that question still demands for answers.
On 18th September 2017 one Tanzanian peace keeper was killed and another one injured by suspected ADF during routine patrols 500m away from their base.
In October 2017 at Mumundiome village, 30kms north of Beni town, two Tanzanian peace keepers were killed and 18 others injured allegedly by the same ADF rebels.
Last week, suspected ADF rebels killed 15 Tanzanian peace keepers and injured 53 others. The attack took place on a Rapid Reaction military base 50kms north east of Beni near a bridge on river Semuliki along the road to the Uganda border.
The well coordinated and complex dust attack that lasted four hours also managed to destroy two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), an ambulance and a troop carrier truck.
Semuliki river flows from the Lake Edward side of Congo, northwards inside Congo but quite a distance east of Beni and a reasonable distance from the slopes of Rwenzori mountain forming the international boundary between Uganda and DRC in Bundubugyo before flowing into the Lake Albert side of Congo. This is how close the UN base is to the Uganda border.
Of the three countries, Malawi and South Africa, the Tanzanian contingent is said to be the best trained, armed and equipped.
However, by comparison, it suffered more than the rest at the hands of armed attacks. In November 2015, one Malawian piece keeper was killed by militants around Irengeti. In December 2016 one South African peace keeper was killed near Butembo.
It is a fact that the ADF is dominated by Ugandan Muslims. The UN investigators have always found the ADF to have no links to Islamic extremist organisations in Africa or the Middle East.
Some opportunists in the recent past posted a video footage purporting to have been shot in the ADF camp showing fighters claiming allegiance to Islamic State.
It had been an attempt to draw the ADF into the list of international terrorist organisations. Museveni has repeatedly boasted of having defeated the ADF both inside the country and in Congo during his senseless military expeditions.
Actually, he has always referred to the battle of Semuliki valley where ADF’s back was broken. He only describes the ADF in terms of a small criminal gang who can only manage to kill innocent civilians in Congo and Uganda.
Indeed, inside Uganda the ADF has not been involved in any combat for may years. One wonders if the ADF has now built the military combat capability to attack and overwhelm a firmly dug in UN force with the mandate to engage in combat, why it shouldn’t just re-enter Uganda and engage the UPDF.!!
Moreover, the situation pertaining on the ground in Uganda would be more friendlier than Congo.
Ugandans are yearning for such an armed group to dismantle the Museveni military dictatorship.
Owing to the combat capability, may be its not the ADF that attacked the defensive positions of the Tanzanian peace keepers!!!
Congolese by nature and owing to poor military capability can’t carry out such a coordinated attack.
What ever the case, the ADF is the only viable armed group opposed to Museveni’s military dictatorship. The attack came at a time Museveni is planning to table the life presidency constitutional amendment by Parliament.
He fears it may spark off an armed rebellion as this is the last line of defence still available to Ugandans.
Why not question the activities of the former M23 rebels who have been re-entering Congo from Uganda?
The attack also comes at a time when Uganda is accused of aiding anti-Kagame armed dissidents with reports suggesting that plans are underway to establish for them bases in the further northeastern DRC near the Sudan border.
Such a force will still need a safe passage through north Kivu if it is to access Rwanda. Relations between Rwanda and Tanzania are ok and the same applies to Uganda; but when will the same UN intervention force defeat the other so called negative forces, ADF and AFDRL of Uganda and Rwanda respectively the same way it defeated Congo’s M23????
Could someone be trying to pressurize the Tanzanian contingent to withdraw from the operation???
What happened to the February 2016 UN Expert report that exonerated ADF and instead pointed a finger at the Congolese army????
In 1981 when Museveni opted for his guerrilla war, his first target of armed attack was the Tanzanian soldiers. The fist casualty was the Tanzanian Corporal shot dead by Tumwine at the Quarter guard (main entrance).
Then followed the ambush and attack of Tanzanians on Hoima Road and Kakiri detachment respectively. With those incidents, Museveni opted to persuade Nyerere to withdraw his troops from Uganda.
As a guerrilla, he would sneak to Kampala and call Dar Es Salaam from Sam Njuba’s office. The trick worked when the Tanzanian troops made an early withdraw leaving the country almost without a standing army since the Uganda Army under Iddi Amin had just been destroyed.
That is the major reason why Museveni’s so-called Bush War managed to survive. The pressure on Tanzanians worked then and you never know it may work again.
INFORMATION IS POWER AND DEFIANCE IS THE WAY TO GO.
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