H.E. Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo of Democratic Republic of Congo has today joined President Museveni to unveil Mpondwe Bridge and commissioned the construction of major road infrastructure projects in DRC by both Governments.
The bridge links Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mpondwe Bridge is located on Kampala-Mubende-Fort Portal-Uganda/DRC Border Road, at Mpondwe Trading Centre. It runs over River Lhubiriha at the Uganda – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border.
In May this year, officials from Uganda and DRC signed major agreements that will see the two countries bolster cross-border trade, development and the stabilization of eastern Congo.
On 27th/may/2021, Mr Museveni signed the inter-governmental agreement on behalf of Uganda while deputy Prime Minister and minister of Foreign Affairs Christophe Lutundula signed on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The signing was witnessed by Speaker Jacob Oulanyah. On the same occasion, a project development agreement (PDA) was signed between the two countries on cross-border roads. The permanent secretary ministry of Works and Transport Bageya Waiswa signed on behalf of Uganda while the DRC minister of state for Infrastructure and Public Works Alexi Gisaro Muvunyi signed on behalf of DRC.
This was witnessed by deputy speaker Anita Annet Among. The third PDA agreement was signed with the Dott Services contractors and witnessed by DRC’s presidential advisor Bisere Fortunate.
Museveni said Uganda and DRC not only share borders but their people are the same.
“The Nandis in Congo, the Bakonjo, Banyoro, Bahema, Banyamboga, Bamba, Hutu, Lendu etc are the same people. When there is insecurity, we are affected directly. We currently have 4,000 Congolese refugees in Uganda camps and others in society with their relatives,” he said.
In April this year, DRC reopened a reparation case it filed against Uganda at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Congo demanded $322 million for damages caused by its troops during the Congo invasion between 1997 and 2003.This reparation is part of the $4.3 billion compensation that Congo is demanding from Uganda – nearly half of the $10 billion it demanded in 2005.
The additional amount Congo is demanding is for the looting of its minerals, destroying the environment, adverse impact on the economy and legal costs. When added the figure totals to about $4.3 billion (about Shs 14 trillion). The figure is a drop from the $10 billion that DRC had demanded from Uganda in 2005 when it won the case.
President Museveni recently defended Uganda’s funding of infrastructure development in DR Congo, arguing that it was aimed at boosting trade between the two neighbouring countries.