No Ugandan troops in Kenya, says Museveni
Published on February 7, 2008, 12:00 am
By Robert Wanyonyi in Kampala and Elizabeth MwaiThe Ugandan Government has officially denied allegations that its troops had been sent to Kenya.Office of the President Spokesman, Mr Charles Opokot, said on Wednesday that Kenya had not asked for help.
“I want to categorically deny reports that appeared in local and international media that Ugandan troops were in Kenya. The situation in Kenya does not warrant our involvement,” said Okopot in a statement.
He pointed out that security in Kenya had improved after the Government deployed the military to quell riots and clear barricades on roads.
“We are happy to announce that the volume of cargo arriving into the country from Mombasa has increased in the past few days due to improved security on the major highways,” he said.
Okopot said though supplies of essential commodities, including fuel, were still low, the situation in Kenya was expected to improve following the peace talks led by former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan.
Opposition parties in Uganda had challenged President Museveni to explain his role in Kenya’s post-election conflict.
Democratic Party Spokesman, Mr Fred Mwesigwa, said it was unfortunate that the government had remained silent amid condemnation from Kenyan Opposition leaders over claims Ugandan troops were in the country.
Mwesigwa alleged that the troops harassed people along the border, and behaved unprofessionally.
“Let the Government give a statement on its involvement to put to rest persistent accusations over its role in Kenyan elections,” he said.
Last month, residents of Malaba impounded a lorry carrying Ugandan military uniforms. The driver was stopped as he drove to the Customs Department.
The uniforms, complete with the insignia, were found in boxes the lorry was carrying.
But Museveni had denied the claims, saying he did not help President Kibaki quell the chaos sparked by his controversial re-election.
The Ugandan Electoral Commission also denied playing part in the tallying of presidential results.
Instead, Museveni blamed the Electoral Commission of Kenya for post-election violence.
Meanwhile, the Kenya International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has backed calls for international investigation into post-election crimes against humanity.
ICJ also supported the proposal the establishment of a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission as proposed by the Kofi Annan mediation team.
ICJ chairman, Mr Wilfred Nderitu, urged the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate the chaos, including claims of genocide.
He said ICJ was concerned that violence was going on despite mediation talks.
“ICJ condemns the gross violation of international humanitarian law and culture of violence,” he said.
The commission said those found responsible of fuelling the chaos should be charged at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
ICJ also wants the International Crimes Bill enacted into law.
Nderitu said the violence was planned, citing the efficiency in which the killings were done.
He said there were indications that the killings were aimed at particular communities, suggesting genocide might have been committed.
Nderitu said the prosecution of people responsible for the crimes would end the culture of impunity.
ICJ urged the Commissioner of Police, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, to ensure officers operated according to the 1979 UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the 1990 Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms.