Astute warfare war planners know very well that most wars are won in large by being highly guarded about sensitive secrets.
Sensitive military secrets are so jealously guarded that those who end up leaking them out are harshly disciplined and in most cases executed by firing squad.
Countries that are high up there in the game of keeping secrets such as Israel, China and Russia have by extension over time also proved to be the best at the game of warfare than those which go about pompously revealing what they have in store or are cooking up to all and sundry.
This is why the top-most leaders of our national army notably the commander-in-chief, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni deserve to be glowingly thanked for taking the greatest care under a lot of pressure of provoction after being attacked by the terrorists of ADF not to unnecessarily panic into releasing the next cause of action which came in the form of that highly surprising and precision air and surface attack on the enemies operating deep in the terrains of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Our neighbors in Congo deserve the best of accolades for they unreservedly kept the dissidents unaware of the rain of gunfire that was an accident threateningly waiting to dawn on them and up until the war jets actually flew in, subjecting the terrorists to untold human and logistical collateral damage.
Specialized troops from the Ugandan air force and the land forces made a highly surprising attack on four hideouts of the ADF and its recently self-confessed Islamic State terrorists.
The four hideouts raided and left hugely devastated are located in Nobili and Kamangi as well as near the Ugandan boarder with DRC.
Military spokespersons in Uganda and DRC reported this is the most devastating raid on ADF after the one UPDF carried out in December, 2017 and which ended with 114 rebels dead.
The raid made by all intents and purposes much more effective and devastating by the Ugandan owned Russia made fighter jets in Sukhoi Su-30 and Mi-24 was a tit for tat following the November 16 two bomb incidents near the Kampala central police station and another adjacent to the national assembly building which left about eight people dead including a policeman and scores nursing serious injuries.
But how exactly did Uganda and DRC fool the terrorists?
To start with, while the president said immediately after the recent twin bombings in Kampala that our military would go after the terrorists, events that followed offered a vague a picture as to the actual time our army was going to strike the enemy and from which particular point.
True, our military were telling the country they were combat ready and merely waiting for orders from their commander-in-chief in order to attack the enemy.
But the army spokespersons of the armies of both Uganda and DRC, on the other hand, kept uttering out things which suggested the attack was not going to happen soon as it happened.
Much as the Ugandan military spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso confirmed they were ready to attack the enemies in DRC, she not only kept the country guessing about the exact day the raid was supposed to happen, but also maintained a conveniently vague posture by stating she couldn’t tell since the authorities in DRC hadn’t cleared Uganda to venture into the territory.
Her counterpart in DRC, Patrick Muyaya as if on cue, was telling the impatiently inquisitive media that her top superiors were still taking their time while consulting widely before finally thinking about deciding whether to grant the permission or not.
Moreover, the respective spokespersons didn’t immediately confirm that the gun fire had gone off until really after the war was underway.
In fact, insiders now reveal, it was not until the international media had started giving out what was a foot in the jungles of DRC than the army respective military spokespersons also started releasing what was going on, but again after strictly being authorized by their respective superiors.
Even our parliament which is by law empowered to sanctions such military interventions, only got to know UPDF was busy pounding the terrorists in DRC in form of a complaint raised by the opposition national unity platform lawmaker, Frank Butebi Zaake.
Zaake raising on a matter of national importance and urgency wondered how the military had managed to daringly venture into DRC without seeking for permission from parliament.
Zaake had himself not known the UPDF was already in DRC. He only woke up to the reality merely hours after the raid had started and through the spokesperson of UPDF, Brig Byekwaso. This is when the youngman from Mityana ran fast to parliament to let off the inconsequential noise.
But, to demonstrate how the national assembly was so crueless about what was afoot in DRC, even the government chief whip, Thomas Tayeebwa standing on a point of information, ended up by daftly telling Zaake and the House how UPDF hadn’t entered DRC at all.
But you can excuse our MPs, given that , according to military sources, the commander-in-chief didn’t tell a good number of cabinet ministers what was up his sleeve before the appointed time of the surprising raid , save for a few of them.
“I can confirm to you most of the ministers got to know about the raid hours after the international media had started giving out the news,” a highly placed military sources confided in us.
What these sources divulge helps to reveal the fact that the order not to reveal the raid at once was issued at the very highest point of the military hierarchy.
“The secret approach was tactical. The top brass of the military didn’t want to carelessly pass out the info regarding the raid lest the info accidently ended up with the targeted enemies through their informers and backers,” the sources have it.
More important, the Ugandan military top brass have been building capacity over many years purposely to deal with the atrocities posed by the rebels of ADF who are based inside DRC and in the mountainous areas of Rwenzori in Kasese as well as operating along the Ugandan boarders with DRC.
Under this military operation, UPDF started with acquiring a vast piece of in Kakyomya in Kabarole where the army went on to successfully built a barracks.
The military installation sits on 1638 hectares of land.
The military further created a brigade in Muhooti in Fort portal town before setting up two brigades in Rwenzori mountain area of Hima known as 222 Mountain brigade and 111 mountain brigade in Muhooti.
What was done was of course a tactical measure. Firstly,ADF had been operating in the area where the big barracks is situated. So, the army by erecting the barracks sought to deny the rebels an operation area where they could hide while committing atrocities.
Two, the military wanted to create meaningful human capacity in the region to flush out the rebels whenever they could venture into the area.
And also to give cover to areas nearby where they could dash quickly in case of an attack by the rebels to drive them away.
As would be expected, the enhanced military presence ended up overwhelming the ADF. The rebels shortly thereafter run off to hide in the DRC. They would later regroup and started making desperate raids inside DRC chiefly to loot for survival and for visibility purposes.
Along the way, and with the rebels carrying out on and off incursions into Uganda, UPDF followed them in DRC. This happened during the days of the assassinated former president Laurent Kabila Senior.
The operation by our army , though, welcome and successive wasn’t without gaffes. Primarily and as we all know, Uganda fought with Rwanda which was backing the rebels fighting Kabila.
But scandalously, our troops notably the top commanders ended up helping themselves to the vast minerals and timber the Almighty God handsomely gifted with DRC, among others.
That war criminality saw the international court of justice slapping a massive fine in the region of ten billion dollars.
True to our financially struggling ways, we have since failed to pay the fine. On the contrary, have kept vigorously courting DRC to drop the liability starting right from the days of Kabila Senior to Kabila Junior and now Felix Tshisekedi and counting.
As we inch to the final leg of this expose’, it’s worthwhile to point out the fact that the government of Uganda wants badly peace in DRC as it moves to find markets for it’s locally produced goods and exports.
This is why our president has committed a lot of funds to open up DRC by building roads linking Uganda to the country which is endowed with mineral wealth like no other country on earth.
All in all, the massive raid the Ugandan military carried out in DRC was carried out to serve as a clear message to the rebels that our leaders are not only possessed of the military might to annihilate them, but that their days are numbered if they don’t give up their atrocities and quickly apply for amnesty.