The Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations and Commander of UPDF Land Forces Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has vowed to teach tough lessons to rebel elements that attempt to disturbs Uganda's peace.
"We will continue teaching CODECO, ADF or any other rebel movement in Congo very tough lessons. UPDF ni hatari! Uganda ni hatari!" Gen Kainerugaba said in a tweet Friday afternoon.
Gen Kainerugaba's warning comes after the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) troops repulsed an attack on some military positions in Zombo by Lendu militias of Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO).
The Kampala Post has learnt that the armed group carried out an attack on a Ugandan military base but the rebels were immediately repulsed by UPDF soldiers.
"Yes, our unit in Zeu, Zombo District was attacked by Congolese rebels called CODECO (Cooperation for the Development of Congo). Our boys performed brilliantly and repulsed the attackers," Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba said in a tweet earlier today.
Gen Kainerugaba's tweet was in response to BBC's Alan Kasuja who first reported the development through his Twitter handle.
"Uganda sources tell me that rebels from Congo attacked a UPDF position in Zeu, Zombo district early this morning. They were repulsed. At least 5 were killed and one gun was recovered. It’s suspected that they belong to CODECO a rebel formation made up of Alur and Lendu fighters," Mr Kasujja said in his tweet.
The UPDF spokesperson Brig Flavia Byekwaso said the UPDF lost one soldier in the attack.
"Today at 6:00am, UPDF unit at Zeu in Zombo repulsed an attack by 20 men disguising as forest workers. We captured 02, put out of action 04 & got 01 gun plus bows/arrows. Sadly, we lost 01 soldier (MHSRIP).The group is suspected to be criminals associated to DRC's CODECO rebels," Brig Byekwaso said in a message released on Twitter.
This website understands that there is now increased alertness by UPDF troops in West Nile to ensure that Uganda is secure from any security threats posed by the rebels that have been terrorizing parts of Eastern Congo.
CODECO is an armed group that has been carrying out attacks in the DRC province of Ituri.
CODECO is drawn from the Lendu ethnic group, a predominantly farming community that has historically clashed with the Hema, a group of traders and herders.
Since March 2020, CODECO members are said to have killed over 300 people in Ituri province. In September last year, members of CODECO were seen entering Bunia, the capital city of Ituri Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
According to pictures seen by the Kampala Post, the CODECO rebels were seen being escorted by the police and Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) as they entered Bunia.
At that time sources told the Kampala Post that the rebels’ mission was to release prisoners from the Central Prison in Bunia.
The source explained that the act by FARDC meant that there is definite collusion between FARDC and the rebels.
The UPDF has a history of successes against armed rebels having defeated several of them including ADF and LRA among others.