Opinion: Operation Shujaa is the gateway for the UPDF to stay within the DRC

The newly minted joint-operation between Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and FARDC in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Is a beginning of a long time stay of the UPDF in the provinces close to the border of Uganda. Expect the UPDF to have missions and participate in armed combat in Ituri, North and South Kivu. That is just meant to be at this point.

The joint operation is now named “Operation Shujaa” if Shujaa is Swahili it can be interpret to be either hero, brave or a warrior. This enterprise was started on the 30th November 2021. As the Congolese lawmakers knew about it, but the Ugandan ones got a memo or a press release with a sentence from New Vision or Spokesperson speaking on NBS Television.

The UPDF Commander who is the head of the Operation, Maj. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga has said they will use air-force and artillery to conquer the Allied Democratic Force (ADF) on the Congolese territory. We know the UPDF has said they are willing to be there as long as it takes. This means they are not leaving quickly and this will not be brief operation.

Operation Shujaa” can be the gateway for them to enter and stay. Yes, we don’t know the stipulations or the agreement with the FARDC or the RDC government. Nevertheless, we know their joint mission is to end the ADF. The UPDF have claimed they will do what they did to LRA during the “Operation Lightning Thunder”, which means the ADF would be able to flee into other territories like the LRA did. However, never entering Uganda since then…

To be frank here… I am anticipating more civilians becoming internally displaced. That the UPDF will be busy guarding the road-development projects of the Dott Service company. While having brigades and air-force bombing ADF camps and scouting together with the FARDC for additional hangouts and hot-spots for the guerrilla. However, don’t expect this to be short and brief. This will last long and at some point. The UPDF and FARDC will tell about their losses.

Expect supplementary budgets to cover this enterprise. Expect the President and all of the anointed Ministers to ask for funds to cover it all. They will all dance to the same song. It will be horrific and be no oversight. It wasn’t any from the outset. So, don’t expect it in the future either. The UPDF and the Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga will use “patriotic” means and hope that shield him from any criticism. If not the Ministry of Security or the head of UPDF will speak out. Therefore, this is a Operation that the heads of government is main beneficiaries of.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this whole thing will last. Not on the merit of the strength or the capabilities of ADF. No, the share joy of resources and possibilities to loot again. The UPDF will use this end to their benefit. That is what they do and Congo will continue to bleed. The Tshisekedi government seems out of control and weak. When they let UPDF violate it on it’s turf and expect them to do so. We will not know the amount civilian casualties, as the state will only deliver the amount of ADF soldiers and leaders it has killed. If not what they alleged have taken out of action. Since there is no second source to verify the accounts on the frontline.

So, don’t expect a quick escape or a leeway. The UPDF will linger now. If it isn’t ADF. They will find someone else to bother or be the aggressor towards. If not they will be expensive and well-trained soldiers guarding road construction in the provinces. As the Government of Uganda has promised to build there …

Time will only tell… Peace.

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