UN report could alter fate of African Union mission to Somalia

Saturday November 10 2012

M23 fighters in Bunagana, eastern DRC. Uganda’s withdrawal of its troops in Somalia would be detrimental. Picture: AFP

M23 fighters in Bunagana, eastern DRC. Uganda’s withdrawal of its troops in Somalia would be detrimental. Picture: AFP 

By A JOINT REPORT, The EastAfrican

The future of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) hinges on the position the United Nations Security Council adopts next week on a report by a UN expert group that accused Rwanda and Uganda of military involvement with the M23 rebel movement.

The report, leaked to the media a month ago, drew angry reactions from Kampala and Kigali. Uganda issued an ultimatum requiring the UN to clear its name or the country would recall its forces from all peacekeeping operations in Africa, which include the Amisom mission in Somalia.

Rwanda is hoping the Security Council will be on its side when the final report on the conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), prepared by the Group of Experts, is presented.

Rwanda, which was last month elected to the Security Council, termed the report unacceptable. “It is a product of a certain way of thinking by people who have certain intentions. Who want this region to be a certain way. The report came to fit some pre-conceived notions and ascertain intentions of some members of the international community,” Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, told TheEastAfrican in an interview.

“Why should we [Uganda] pay the price of security in the region?” Ask