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Uganda to withdraw peacekeepers from Somalia over controversy

Though the country has not yet formalized the decision at the UN, Ugandan officials said that the move would be irreversible if the UN did not correct a report accusing it of funding M23 rebels.

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Uganda said that it would be withdrawing its peacekeepers from Uganda after it was accused of supporting rebels in Congo. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)

Uganda said that it would be withdrawing its peacekeepers from Somalia Saturday after the UN accused the country of supporting rebels in Congo.

Though the country has not yet formalized the decision at the UN, Ugandan officials said that the move would be irreversible if the UN did not correct a report accusing it of funding M23 rebels.

In a statement to the Ugandan parliament, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said the allegations were baseless, unfair and malicious, according to New Vision.

Uganda has more than 6,000 troops in Somalia and is the largest African peacekeeping force in the country, said the Associated Press.

The Ugandan foreign ministry said that it would leave Somalia and other hotspots where its soldiers act as peacekeepers.

"Uganda's withdrawal from regional peace efforts, including Somalia, CAR (Central African Republic) etc would become inevitable unless the UN. corrects the false accusations made against Uganda, by bringing out the truth about Uganda's role in the current regional efforts," the Ugandan foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters.

More from GlobalPostCongo demands sanctions on Rwanda, Uganda over rebel support

A leaked report last month accused both Uganda and Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels, led by Bosco Ntaganda, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court.

It is still unclear whether Uganda's threats were simply to put pressure on the UN Security Council to refrain from action when they formally receive the report.

The UN Experts who authored the report called for sanctions against individuals who aided the M23 rebels, reported the BBC.

The March 23 (M23) rebels are defectors from Congolese forces and have waged a civil conflict against the government in the region of North Kivu since last April.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/121103/uganda-withdraw-peacekeepers-somalia-over-controversy