Home Foreign Over 1,200 former DRC rebels seek UN protection in Uganda

Over 1,200 former DRC rebels seek UN protection in Uganda


KAMPALA – Over 1,200 members of a former rebel group of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have fled their detention camp in western Uganda and sought UN protection, the Ugandan army said.
Ugandan military spokesman Lt.-Col. Paddy Ankunda confirmed on Wednesday that all but 120 of the 1,373 former fighters fled to the Rwamwanja refugee camp where they were seeking UN protection.
The ex-fighters had been held at a Ugandan military camp since their defeat in 2013, pending repatriation.
The exodus occurred when the 120 ex-combatants, who Ankunda said had expressed willingness to be repatriated, were due to be flown home on Wednesday.
On Friday, Bertrand Bisimwa, head of the former fighters, wrote a letter to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to protest what he called “forced repatriation’’ of the ex-rebels.
Bisimwa said that the Kinshasa government is not ready to receive the ex-rebels and that they fear for their safety upon return.
The Nairobi peace accord stipulated that former M23 fighters, who had gathered at camps in Rwanda and Uganda, would be granted amnesty on their return to the DRC.
It added that the leaders of the rebel group should be returned to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Xinhua/NAN)

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