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Uganda to link DRC to oil pipeline
Published on 6-08-2016 - at 01:56' by Daily Monitor

President Museveni has said Uganda will help connect Democratic Republic of Congo to the Ugandan oil pipeline in 2019.

President Museveni has said Uganda will help connect Democratic Republic of Congo to the Ugandan oil pipeline in 2019.

He said this on Thursday after meeting his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila at Mweya Safari Lodge in Kasese District.

The two heads of state met over issues on joint security, economic investments and intelligence support to fight rebels in either country.

Conclusions

“We have agreed that after our oil pipeline is ready by 2019, we shall connect the pipeline from DR Congo to ours,” President Museveni told the media shortly after the heads of state’s two-hour closed meeting.

Uganda and Tanzanian governments recently agreed on a $4 billion oil pipeline that would connect Uganda to foreign markets even though construction won’t start in August as they originally projected.

The companies behind what could be East Africa’s first major oil pipeline believe the August start-date that Tanzanian officials gave last March for work on the 900-mile pipeline through Tanzania is unrealistic.

But the governments have made more progress in preparing the way for construction to start on the project that would transport Uganda’s crude to the Tanzanian port of Tanga on the Indian Ocean.

Contractors

French oil giant Total SA, the UK-based Tullow Oil and Chinese state-owned oil company Cnooc Ltd are the three firms developing Uganda’s oil fields expected to invest in the Ugandan pipeline which will have an estimated capacity to handle 200,000 barrels of oil a day. The aim is to keep Uganda on track with the goal of exporting its first crude reserves by 2020.

President Museveni spoke to Mr Kabila about Uganda’s readiness to deploy troops in DR Congo to battle the ADF fighters upon consent from the Kinshasa government.

Mr Kabila did not give an automatic approval of sending Ugandan troops to his country, saying there is need for his government to first consent on the deployment of a foreign army in Congo and the modalities of their operations.

“My government is willing to join hands with Uganda in promoting economic investments, regional peace and cross-border trade,” Mr Kabila said.

Elections

Asked on the controversies surrounding the delayed elections in DR Congo, Mr Kabila said a deliberate process of fresh registration of voters started at the end of July and is still ongoing.

“After the voter registration process, a date shall soon be set for the country to go for national elections,” Kabila answered journalists in a brief press conference after the talks.

The background

The Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF) was in the 1990s made up of Ugandan opposition forces which fought the Government.

The rebel group launched operations in western Uganda near the Rwenzori Mountains in 1996 and inflicted substantial harm on the population in the area.

The rebels harassed government forces, murdered and kidnaped civilians in the north and west but did do not, however, hold ground to threaten the government.

The ADF heightened their activities in 1998, which included repeated attacks on civilians, trading centres, resulting in hundreds of deaths and abductions and displacement of local people.

In February 1998, 30 students were abducted by ADF from Mitandi Seventh Day Adventist College in Kasese.

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President Museveni (centre) ushers in DRC President Joseph Kabila (left), as Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde (right) looks on at the Congo border in Kasese District on Thursday ahead of their bilateral talks at the Mweya Safari Lodge.

Kwamamaza
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