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Report: Uganda

Hundreds of Congolese soldiers flee into Uganda

AFP Photo/Phil Moore

Hundreds of Congolese soldiers who fled into Uganda have been transferred further inside Uganda from the border area.

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Over 500 soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo have fled over the Ugandan border on Thursday following fighting with the M23 rebels of Bosco Ntaganda at the Bunagana border area.

The group led by a major Mumbere Mpingia are part of the  44 battalion.

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces 2nd Division spokesman Captain Peter Mugisha said that the group has been disarmed, documented and separated from civilian refugees.

“We have documented them and now need to transfer them far away from the border”, he told RFI.

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The fleeing Congolese government troops have been transferred to Kisoro town 20 kilometres from the border.

General Ntaganda who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes has set rebels against the government troops of President Joseph Kabila since April this year.

Captain Mugisha said security on the Uganda-Congo border has been beefed up but insists the situation on the Ugandan side is calm. However, there has been an influx of Congolese refugees fleeing fighting back home.

Uganda’s minister of state for disaster preparedness Musa Echweru said more than ten thousand Congolese refugees have pitched camp at the Bunagana border 54 kilometers in South Western Uganda.

“We are ferrying them from the entry point to Nyakabande reception centre,” Echweru told RFI.

At the reception centre the refugees will be screened to ensure that no arms enter the country. Minister Echweru said the refugees will then be relocated to a settlement.

According to the minister many of the refugees are women and children. He said some refugees says they have been mistreated. Women have told the Ugandan authorities that they were gang raped, while some of the men have wounds they say were inflicted through torture.
 

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