Museveni names new Ugandan commander for joint DR Congo operation

Thursday October 13 2022
Maj Gen Dick Olum

Maj Gen Dick Olum is set for a new role, leading Ugandan troops who are part of the DR Congo-Uganda joint military force fighting the Allied Defence Forces. PHOTO | DAILY MONITOR | NMG


President Yoweri Museveni has named Maj Gen Dick Olum to take over as Uganda’s new commander of the army’s Mountain Brigade based in the Rwenzori Mountains, at the country’s western frontier bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In this new role, he also becomes the Ugandan commander for Operation Shujaa, a Uganda-DR Congo joint military operation launched on November 30, 2021 to fight the Allied Democratic Forces in eastern DRC.

Read: Uganda, Kinshasa extend military operation in eastern DR Congo

Maj Gen Olum, who previously served as the defence attaché at the Ugandan embassy in the DR Congo, had a decade ago commanded an operation against Joseph Kony in the Central African Republic, where the Ugandan fugitive is still believed to be living with no known threats against country.

He also previously served as commander of the army’s Third Division based in Moroto, which oversaw the Karamoja disarmament exercise, as well as serving as contingent commander of the UPDF in Somalia, where Uganda has the largest force fighting the Shabaab militants.

Maj Gen Olum takes over from Lt Gen Kayanja Muhanga who was a few days ago appointed commander of the land forces of the Ugandan army, replacing the president’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.


Gen Muhoozi was removed from the land forces leadership after his tweets claiming that Uganda’s army could take over Nairobi in two weeks caused a diplomatic tiff. However, in a twist of events, his father days later promoted him from Lieutenant General to General, saying his previous actions before the gaffe shows he is qualified for the promotion.

Maj Gen Olum has a huge task ahead of him, as Uganda and DRC continue fighting to subdue the ADF which recently renamed itself the Central Africa Province of the IS (Islamic State).

The militants have for years terrorised eastern DR Congo and had last year claimed responsibility for three bomb attacks in Uganda’s capital Kampala, including the deadly twin blasts of November 16, 2021 in which four people were killed and many injured.

Recently, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces launched aerial strikes followed by joint ground operations with Congolese military, Forces Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo (FARDC), against the ADF, in an operation President Museveni said was largely successful. 

According to the UPDF, their incursion into eastern Congo has dislodged and scattered the ADF from their camps, killing hundreds and forcing others to surrender, although observers have said the continued killing of people by the ADF nearly a year after the launch of the air strikes risks tainting the whole operation.

Despite claims that many rebels have been killed, captured or have surrendered, the UPDF has not paraded any insurgents, claiming that most of them are being held by the FARDC and that for security purposes the joint forces cannot parade them yet.