The two commanding officers for Operation Shujaa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Maj Gen Bombelle Camille Ehola (FARDC) and Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga (UPDF) officially launched the construction of the 125km Kasindi-Beni-Butembo Road.
The colourful ceremony which took place at Mpondwe-Lubiriha border post drew a mammoth crowd from the two sister countries.
Delivering his remarks, Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga remarked that the road project is important for, they are regarded as security roads as well as a National Strategic end State of creating a peaceful environment for the people to carry out business unfettered.
“We are also jointly constructing other roads like Nobili – Mukakati – River Semulik and Burasi – Boga roads and after the Bunagana-Rutchuru – Goma Road will be protected and tarmacked.” noted Gen Muhanga.
He underscored the cooperation of the two militaries, “Our strong brotherly relationship with FARDC is unmatched. We are doing everything together. Gen Bombelle and I are like parents, if one child misbehaves, we get a stick and discipline him, (this referring to the Junior commanders who are brought to order in case there are misunderstandings or mistakes).”
Muhanga, also informed the guests that Phase one of the operation was to dislodge and destroy the enemy camps of Tondoli, Abia one and two, Kambi Ya Yua, Chua and others and in Phase two the troops are to dominate all other camps.
“The enemy is on the run scattered in smaller groups but, ultimately we shall find them,” Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga promised.
Meanwhile Maj Gen Bombelle Camille Ehola thanked the two Presidents for appointing them to command Operation Shujaa forces.
He said that the joint forces are working together, sharing the available resources and fighting the enemy of peace together.
“Our cordial relationship in fighting the enemy is being shown in the results of operation Shujaa. This is also reflected amongst our soldiers who are eating, sleeping and fighting together. Am confident that with this relationship, enemies of peace will be wiped out in this region” Noted Gen Bombelle.
Adding, “I send profound appreciation from the people of Congo who have started realizing peace in their places as a result of the Joint operation.”
He also revealed that of recent Gen Kayanja Muhanga saw in one of the towns how he was warmly welcomed by the people.
“Recently I was in Kommanda and Eringeti, people are longing to see Gen Kayanja Muhanga because of what he has done in fighting ADF.”
He said the purpose of the day’s occasion was to implement what the two presidents agreed upon; the construction of the roads and that the joint forces were ready to execute the task to its successful end.
“I would like to remind you that the two Presidents gave us a task of guarding this project. Our forces are ready to implement the task and we have mobilized the population along the roads that in case they see the enemy around they should immediately inform us for action,” said Gen Bombelle.
Presenting documents endorsed by the two presidents to Customs officials and the contractor DOTT Services Limited, Gen Bombelle cautioned immigration and custom officials not to hinder free movement of machinery, human resource and goods meant for the project. He however, warned business people and traders not to use the same documents or the generals’ names to evade taxes.
Muhindi Eliphaze Bukombi the Kasese LCV Chairman, thanked the two Presidents of DRC and Uganda for being visionary on trans-border infrastructural development. This he said will transform and uplift the wellbeing of the people of the two countries.
“The construction of this infrastructure you are seeing today is going to uplift the economic wellbeing of our people not only in trade, but also cement the cordial relationship between the two countries.” He noted, adding that the joint forces working together in eliminating ADF, have brought enormous confidence to the population that peace and security will be achieved.
“Aware that peace and security is the cornerstone for meaningful development, we thank the two Presidents for being visionary; for they realized that although we are separated by the boundaries we need to coexist. People of Kasese are the primary beneficiaries of this project through employment, rental services and buying or selling of products. It is therefore our cardinal duty to see security prevails in our region,” emphasized Bukombi.