UPDF deploys at Congo border over anticipated rebel attack

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The Uganda People's Defence Forces-UPDF has deployed heavily along the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC border line in Bundibugyo district.

The deployment follows last week's attack on a United Nations base in Goma, Eastern DRC by suspected ADF rebels.

The ADF, a Ugandan rebel outfit on Friday killed at least fourteen Tanzanian United Nations peacekeepers and wounded 53 others in a raid on their base in the North Kivu province of DRC in what has been described as the deadliest attack on UN forces in the recent years.

The volatile North Kivu province borders Uganda and Rwanda. Army spokesperson Brig.Richard Karemire, after the attack said UPDF is ready to retaliate in case of any attack by the rebels to the East African country.

“If these terrorists attacked Uganda, we would not hesitate to exercise the right to hot pursuit,”Brig.Karemire told the Nile Post on Saturday.

This morning several trucks carrying unspecified number of UPDF soldiers and military equipment were seen in Fort Portal town heading to Bundibugyo district.

Major Peter Mugisa, the 2nd Division army spokesperson says the deployment follows reports that the ADF rebels plan to enter the country through Bundibugyo district. Mugisa explains that the attack on the UN base was diversionary but the intention of the rebels was to infiltrate and attack Uganda.

According to Mugisa, the deployment has been heightened especially in areas he referred to as enemy prominent routes.  He adds that the presence of the army at the border will continue until security is stabilized in Eastern DRC.

In the 1990s, the ADF rebels terrorised the Rwenzori region in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Kabarole for almost 10 years. During the insurgency, the rebels are believed to have killed more than 3,000 people and displaced 100,000.

On June 8, 1998, the rebels raided Uganda Technical College Kichwamba in Kabarole district and burnt 80 students alive in three dormitories and abducted others.

In 2013, more than 10,000 refugees crossed into Uganda at the Busunga border post in Bundibugyo district. They fled after rebels attacked the town of Kamango, 11 kilometres from the DRC-Uganda border.


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