Monday 24 September 2012

1 000 Congolese flee to Uganda over renewed fighting in Eastern DRC

DRC President:Joseph Kabila
 At least 1,000 Congolese refugees have fled into Uganda in the last two weeks following renewed fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), local media reported here on Monday.
The state owned New Vision daily reported that the new wave of fighting between the government forces and M23 rebels in DRC's Rutshuru area has forced another 1,000 people to take refuge in Uganda.
The rebels are reported to have overrun Nyamirima, Buganza and Nyakakoma towns, all in Rutshuru area, after heavy fighting with the government forces, forcing people to flee.
The refugees, mostly women and children, began trickling into the East African country through Ishasha border post on Sept. 14, the paper reported.
The refugees were temporarily being sheltered at Kihiihi Police Station awaiting to be transported to Nyakabande transit centre in the western Ugandan district of Kisoro.
Jean Bosco Kamanzi, a refugee who is a teacher by profession, on Saturday said that he had counted five dead bodies of civilians as he fled towards Ishasha.
"The situation has become unbearable because there in nobody to care for the civilians. The fighting forces are only showing off their superiority," said Kamanzi.
Juuko Kasiita, Kanungu deputy Resident District Commissioner, who is supervising the exercise of receiving refugees, said they have been registering about 200 people every day except for Friday when the number shot higher.
"We have seen more refugees coming in unlike in the past when they would come in groups of 10 or 20. Our duty is to ensure that they are all registered," said Kasiita.
Meanwhile, security authorities in Kanungu have asked Ugandan citizens to stop crossing into eastern DRC with immediate effect, saying their security cannot be guaranteed.
Several people in Butogota, Kihiihi in Kanungu and areas bordering DRC have been doing brisk business with their counterparts across the border while others have gardens which they till during the day and return in the evening.
"We cannot guarantee the people from Uganda that their lives would be safe if they crossed to do business or attend to their gardens. We advise them to stop going there until the situation is calm," said Kasiita.
Great Lakes region leaders who met up in the capital, Kampala earlier this month set up a neutral international force to hunt down armed groups in eastern DRC. (Xinhua)

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