Opinion: Okello Oryem is mocking the wrong partners with MONUSCO

In an Interview with NTV this morning, the minister for foreign affairs in charge of international relations Okello Oryem said Uganda “does not need the help of the UN” which he says they consider as a “useless group” that has allegedly preserved terrorism in Congolese soil. “We have no good words for them, they have been there for long but what have they done? As far as we are concerned, we do not want their military assistance, even if they offer us a cup of tea, we do not need it,” said Mr Oryem” (Ritah Kemigisa – ‘Uganda doesn’t need UN’s help for DRC mission- Oryem’ 02.12.2021, KFM.co.ug).

The hubris and the arrogance is clear as the Minister Henry Okello Oryem who is is now downplaying the role of United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), which is starting their gradual exit strategy from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). MONUSCO is based in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, which the UN based mission is to stop the militias with disarmament and demobilization of them. In such a way, that the MONUSCO is there to be the civilians’ protection.

It is really striking that the Ugandan Minister is mocking and not wanting to work with MONUSCO now. This mission was first established in 1999 as MONUC and got a new mandate in 2010. While in 2020 the mandate changed and they are starting already to back-out. Therefore, the UN Mission is dwindling down. As well, as there are new militias and foreign interference in the region of which the Ugandan army entered yet again.

MONUSCO is partly created by the interference of Ugandan troops within the DRC. Not that the Ugandan armies was alone in these wars or always been welcomed to enter the DRC. The UPDF and Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) have both entered it. As well, as both nations have been involved in supporting militias, rebels and armed groups within the DRC. That is well-known and they re-appear at certain stages. Just like the UPDF have been inside the DRC before on specialized operations towards certain targets.

Okello Oryem is just showing how the Ugandans elites and the ones within the regime is thinking about it. It is their rights to attack and be part of military operations within the DRC. Since, they don’t want anything with the UN or MONUSCO. I wonder, if Okello Oryem would accept similar feelings in Somalia between the Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which the latter UPDF is a pat of. I wonder, if Okello Oryem and all of the Ugandan hierarchy would like to be painted in similar fashion. Because, there is two sides to any coin and this is a foolish take.

Yes, MONUSCO isn’t perfect and neither is it’s mission. There has been continued insurgency and lack of territorial integrity, which the Ugandan and Rwandan counter-parts has supported and participated with. That is well-known and is a reason for the illegal export of resources from the provinces as well. Therefore, Okello Oryem should be a bit more humble, but I know that’s too much to ask for in 2021.

Okello Oryem could suddenly wake up and bite the dust. Since, his just showing a lot of flair. Nevertheless, we know the trouble will return and be a real issue. There isn’t only the ADF in Ituri, North and South Kivu provinces. There is several of other militias and guerrillas in the provinces and they are causing massive concern and is a silent war that never ends. They are invested in, given arms and training. This is deliberate and the joint operation will not stop this… sadly…

MONUSCO will not end this and they being gone will not stop the existence either. As long as the head of state and foreign interference for profits continues. The insecurity and usage of militias will continue.

It is like we are supposed to be naive and forget how this all started. The UPDF and RDF is responsible for a lot of the pain. The two nations have used the provinces and the DRC as a treasury chest for them. While using the same means to re-enter again and for some reason the Kinshasa government allows that to happen. This is even happening, as the State of Emergency in this regions are occurring. That is really tragic…

Okello Oryem should think about what he says. Since this could be easily said about the UPDF within the AMISOM. Which the SNA and Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) only creates more problems within Somalia. Alas, he as a diplomat should be more careful, but I don’t expect it to ever happen. Peace.

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