Museveni maintains a military alliance with Tanzania in Kivu despite Magufuli’s exit.
One year after the death of Tanzania’s president, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is pursuing security collaboration in the DRC’s Kivu area with John Magufuli’s successor, Samia Suluhu.
On March 11, the Ugandan ambassador to Tanzania, Richard Kabonero, hosted Ugandan Head of Defence Forces Gen. Wilson Mbadi and military intelligence chief James Birungi, roughly a month before his term in Dar es Salaam ended.
The two Ugandan officials had traveled to Tanzania’s capital to discuss security cooperation between Uganda and Tanzania in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern area.
The high-level summit boosted relations between Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan. Both nations have soldiers on the ground in Kivu.
The United Nations Security Council requested in December that all troops operating in the area strengthen their operational collaboration systems.
On 30 November 2021, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) commenced combined military operations with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to combat the Ugandan Islamist rebel organization, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
While the Tanzanian army is not actively participating in this operation, it has been supplying more than a third of the approximately 3,000 troops stationed with the UN Force Intervention Brigade since 2013. (FIB). The FIB is a component of MONUSCO, the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This detachment, which is operating alongside South African and Malawian soldiers under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community, is also fighting the ADF and other militants in the area.
The FIB played a critical part in the defeat of the M23 rebel organization in late 2013 and has battled with the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda on multiple occasions (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, FDLR).
Since September 2021, the brigade has been led by a Tanzanian, Brig Gen. Stephen Mnkande, who succeeded South African Monwabisi Dyakopu.
Museveni has always had a good relationship with Tanzania. He spent many years in exile in the nation to avoid the military dictator Idi Amin Dada, who controlled Uganda from 1971 until his overthrow in 1979 with the assistance of the Tanzanian army.
Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Museveni’s oldest son and the commander of Uganda’s operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was born in Dar es Salaam in 1974 and is widely expected to replace his father in 2026 (AI, 03/02/22).
Under John Magufuli’s presidency from 2015 to 2021, relations between the two nations increased. This resulted in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, which would link oil sources in northwest Uganda to the Tanzanian port of Tanga, 1,445 kilometers distant.
Since Magufuli’s death in March 2021, these close connections have remained robust. Museveni and Suluhu paid a visit to the late president’s mausoleum at Chato, northwest Tanzania, close the Ugandan border, in September 2021.
While the new president has pursued a far more international foreign policy (AI, 23/02/22), she has maintained her country’s close ties with Uganda. In April 2021, only weeks after taking office, Kampala was her first official port of call.
The second Ugandan ambassador to Tanzania, Col. Fred Mwesigye, participated in the Ugandan Bush War that brought Museveni to power in 1986 and served as the Ugandan army commander in the 1980s and 1990s, demonstrating the country’s solid security ties.
His daughter is married to Museveni’s youngest brother, Shedrack Nzeire, and thus has a personal link to the president.