The Ministers of Defence and Veteran Affairs of Uganda and the DRC Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja and Dr. Gilbert Kabanda Kurhenga respectively held a joint meeting to discuss matters related to defence and security of both states and to review the progress of the Joint UPDF/FARDC Operation Shujaa.
The Thursday meeting that was held at Skyz Protea Hotel in Kampala was preceded by that of the respective Chiefs of Defence Forces Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi (UPDF) and Gen Mbala Musese Celestin (FARDC).
Prior to the meeting of the CDFs, an Expert Working Group composed of general officers and senior officers from UPDF and FARDC was appointed to discuss the finer details of the matters related to the defence and security of both states.
The group worked from 24th - 26th January 2022 and produced a report that was adopted on January 27.
"Our firm cooperation... delays the faceless threats which have to be denied an opportunity to freely operate in our countries," said Ssempijja, who observed that there is need to firmly establish and operationalise all structures of cooperation between UPDF and FARDC to ensure the success of the ongoing joint operations against ADF extremists.
Dr. Kurhenga said that the main focus is the stability of the region which will bring about peace and socio-economic development of the respective countries.
The meeting among others assessed the tactical, operational and strategic progress of the ongoing UPDF/FARDC Joint operation in Eastern DRC (Operation Shujaa) and examined the measures to be implemented for securing the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Kasindi-Beni-Butembo and the Bunagana-Rutshuru-Goma roads in Eastern DRC.
The meeting observed that the Joint UPDF/FARDC operations were progressing well, despite the challenges of difficult terrain, poor road network and long lines of communication and supply.
The experts also acknowledged the importance of sectorisation of the theatre of the operation in order to increase the operation tempo and further degrade the capabilities of the ADF.