The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi has tried to reassure people that the intervention of Ugandan troops in the east of the country will be limited, the Reuters news agency reports.
Uganda and Congo launched a joint operation this month against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group allied with Islamic State, but have given few details about its scope or expected duration.
The ADF was founded in Uganda but was forced out of the country in the first decade of the century.
A spate of bombings in Uganda attributed to the ADF triggered the Ugandan intervention.
“I will ensure that the presence of Ugandan troops on our soil is limited to the time strictly necessary for this operation,” Tshisekedi said in a state of the union speechthat also covered the economy and COVID-19.
Uganda’s intervention has provoked unease because of its army’s conduct during Congo’s 1998-2003 civil war, when Uganda was accused of occupying territory and plundering resources.
For its part, Uganda has said that it would stay in DR Congo for as long as it took to defeat the ADF.
Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi said on Monday he would ensure that the presence of Ugandan troops in Congo, where they are fighting an Islamist militant group alongside Congolese forces, was for a strictly limited period.
At least 1,700 Ugandan soldiers have crossed into eastern Congo, and Uganda’s defence ministry has said its troops will stay as long as needed to defeat the ADF.