Kampala asks MONUC to monitor Ugandan rebels in Congo

Kampala has asked the UN to be on the lookout for camps and supply lines of Ugandan rebels based in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ugandan government-owned The New Vision reported on Friday.

Among the Ugandan armed groups said to be active in the northeastern region of the Congo are the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) and the Peoples' Redemption Army (PRA).

The call follows the 23 October confirmation by Mbusa Nyamwisi, DRC's minister for regional cooperation, of reports of the presence of Ugandan rebel training camps in his country's northeastern North Kivu Province, in the region between Beni and Kasindi. [see earlier story, "Minister confirms presence of Ugandan rebel groups in east"]

"We asked MONUC [the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC] to keep watch of the activities of Ugandan rebels on Congo soil. We asked them to monitor the air and land routes which the rebels may use to receive supplies. We gave them information on the activities of the rebels and their locations," the paper cited an unnamed source as having said on Thursday, following a meeting between Ugandan senior military and security officers and MONUC officials in Kampala on Wednesday.

Ugandan Army spokesman Maj Shaban Bantariza said the meeting with MONUC had "a lot to do with the issue of our rebels in Congo," according to the paper.

It also reported that James Wapakhabulo, Uganda's second deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, said he had written to Congolese government and the UN Security Council, protesting the presence of Ugandan rebels regrouping on Congolese soil.

During a meeting in Kampala last weekend, Wapakhabulo and Nyamwisi resolved to forge closer ties between their two countries, which had been at war for nearly five years. [see earlier story, "Kampala, Kinshasa keen on regional cooperation, says minister"]