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Renson Mwakandana

According to a ministry official, Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba of Uganda’s Land Forces’ tweets in favor of Tigray rebels are his personal opinions and do not represent the army’s position.

While cautiously avoiding mentioning Lt Gen Muhoozi by name in an interview with the BBC’s Focus on Africa on Monday, Brig Felix Kulayigye, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the Uganda People’s DefenseForces (UPDF), stated that the tweets did not represent the UPDF’s position.

Brig Felix Kulayigye, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the Uganda People’s DefenseForces (UPDF) /Pulse Uganda/

Brig Kulayigye told the BBC that: “I am aware of everything that the military does. And if you noticed, that was a tweet not from the Commander of the Defense Forces of the UPDF, not from the spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense. So it can’t be our official position.”

Lt. Gen. Muhoozi tweeted remarks endorsing the rebels in Tigray and accusing the Ethiopian government of violating human rights.

Ethiopian officials, the military, and the media have been linking his comments to a social media allegation that charges Uganda with supporting and training TPLF fighters there.

Lt Gen Muhoozi hasn’t taken down the tweets or changed his stance on supporting the Tigray people. In reality, he has been praising Egypt, Ethiopia’s worst adversary, and threatening to support it if it is ever attacked.

Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, commander of the land forces of the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF)/Flash.RW/

According to Brig Kulayigye, the Ugandan Defense Ministry does not communicate its official positions on issues involving foreign forces through tweets.

Despite Uganda’s denials and its designation of a purportedly leaked intelligence report as a complete fabrication, the allegations have seriously harmed Uganda’s regional diplomacy.

To disassociate themselves from the tweets and the purported report, a number of Ugandan officials, including the defense minister Vincent Ssempijja, the Chief of the Defence Forces Gen. Wilson Mbadi, and diplomats traveled to Ethiopia and spoke with senior military leaders.

A radio transmission from President Museveni to military troops last week forbade any officers from using their social media accounts to write about partisan politics and foreign affairs affecting Uganda. Since June 25, Lt Gen Muhoozi hasn’t tweeted anything.

An image of Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni together the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) /TWITTER/

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) threatened to cease the joint operations against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in the country’s east as a result of Lt. Gen. Muhoozi’s tweets against the M23 rebels.

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