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Uganda, DR Congo agree to share intelligence to fight ADF rebels   

KAMPALA, (Xinhua) -- Ugandan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) authorities have agreed to strengthen liaison mechanisms and share intelligence information in a bid to defeat the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels following their deadly attack on UN peacekeepers.

Brig. Richard Karemire, Ugandan military spokesperson, told Xinhua on Tuesday that the Ugandan government and DRC’s North Kivu officials held a bilateral security meeting in the western Ugandan district of Mbarara over the weekend.

“Sharing information will help forces to be better prepared to deter infiltration and possible attacks by the ADF,” said Karemire.

The Ugandan delegation led by Bright Rwamirama, state minister for defense and veteran affairs, met with DRC’s North Kivu province regional officials.

The ADF attacked the UN peacekeepers in eastern DRC’s North Kivu province on Dec. 7, killing at least 15 Tanzanian blue helmets, five DRC soldiers and wounded 53 others.

Uganda last week called for the operationalization of a regional military center in the western district of Kasese to intensify the fight against the ADF.

The center—Joint Regional Military Center of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) -- was established in 2016 to monitor and gather intelligence on rebel activities and share it with member states.

ICGLR is a regional intergovernmental body that comprises 12 countries—Uganda, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, DRC, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.

The ADF is accused of increased killings and massacres of troops and civilians, rape and abductions over the past three months in eastern DRC.


Etihad Airways pulls out of Uganda route

KAMPALA, (Xinhua) -- After only two and a half years of plying the Abu Dhabi-Entebbe route, Etihad airways has thrown in the towel.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national carrier said the cancellation of the Entebbe service will start March 25, 2018. Etihad launched its services between Abu Dhabi and Entebbe in May 2015.

The carrier offered options to passengers who had purchased tickets on/before Dec. 18 for travel on/after March 25, 2018 that included rebooking/rerouting and cancellation refund.

“For partially or fully unused tickets, re-booking/rerouting is available on EY and Kenyan Airways (via the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, code named NBO),” the statement read.

“Any date change fee as well as fare differences arising from the rerouting/re-booking is waived for this one instance only,” it added.

The announcement comes on the heels of a reduction in flight frequency on the Johannesburg-Entebbe route by South African Airways (SAA) recently.

Effective September, SAA reduced the frequency of flights on the route from seven to six effective Sept. 29.

Yogi Biriggwa, SAA’s Uganda country manager, described the frequency reduction as normal in the aviation industry but said this is in most cases driven by demand for the services.

Also, British Airways opted out of the London-Entebbe route over economic unviability of the route.

Despite increasing number of passengers arriving at the Entebbe International Airport, airlines’ profitability margins have come under increasing pressure as several other international airlines have flocked to the country, according to experts.



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