- DR Congo authorities argue that this may lead to resumption of subversive activities by the former fighters who were defeated by the Congolese and UN troops before fleeing to Uganda in late 2013.
Kampala. There is simmering tension as former fighters of the M23 rebel group flee from a Ugandan military camp back to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).
DR Congo authorities argue that this may lead to resumption of subversive activities by the former fighters who were defeated by the Congolese and UN troops before fleeing to Uganda in late 2013.
Lambert Mende Omalanga, the Congolese government spokesperson, told reporters in Kinshasa, DR Congo capital this week that hundreds of ex-M23 fighters, including its military leader, Sultani Makenga, who had been exiled in Uganda, sneaked to their former bases in eastern DR Congo.
The Uganda government on Jan. 19 said it had arrested 101 former M23 fighters as they attempted to cross back to the DR Congo.
“These people were arrested on their way back aboard taxi minibuses as normal passengers. On questioning them, all of them were found to be former M23 combatants,” said Ofwono Opondo, a Ugandan government spokesman, told Xinhua. The arrest came days after some 40 former fighters escaped back to the central African country. The incident is likely to cause a diplomatic row between the authorities in Uganda and DR Congo. Uganda has “no sinister motive against” DR Congo, said Opondo. “These are individuals who were trying to escape against the agreed modalities and agreement. We still don’t know the motive of their escape.”
After several months of fighting back in 2013 that sparked a refugee influx into Uganda. (Xinhua)