Hajji Safique Ssekandi, Kisoro Resident District Commissioner says that in the last two weeks, 600 refugees have been intercepted from Bunagana border while escaping from refugee camps and attempting to cross to Congo.
On Wednesday, the refugees were given a two-day ultimatum to leave the border town and go to Nyakabande. But refugees have resisted the directive on grounds that the conditions at the transit centre are appalling.
On Tuesday, Kisoro District authorities held a closed-door meeting together with Officials from the office of the Prime Minister, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), police, Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF), Prisons, and Immigrations among others at Kisoro district council hall.
When his family members came, they knocked but he did not open and since all the doors and windows are metallic, they got a welder to force the door open at around 08:00 PM. The body was still hanging on the rope in full uniform at midnight.
The refugees crossed into Ruthsuru territory following heavy fighting between Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) troops and the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels that started in March this year.
Richard Harerimana, a resident of Gatwe village, Bunagana ward, Bunagana town council says that he had spent six years hiring land in Mugongo, Rutshuru, and growing Irish potatoes. But when fighting escalated, he feared to go cross to harvest in this season.
On May 23, Elias Mbishinzimana aged 23, a resident of Gatwe village, Bunagana ward, Bunagana town council in Kisoro district was hit by a bullet in the arm while on the Ugandan side as the fighting went on on the nearby hill of Murujinga.
The rebel Spokesperson, Major Willy Ngoma, said in a statement released both in French and Swahili that civilians are now free to cross back to their areas because M23 has the capacity and strength to protect them since they have repulsed the government troops forcing them to retreat to distant areas.
The gunfire exchange went on until around 1:00 PM when the government troops and the militia fighters retreated and M23 started advancing towards Rutshuru town. The heavy gunfire shook residents and Congolese refugees in the Bunagana town council.
Emma Munyontore, the Deputy Commandant of Nyakabande transit center, says that 407 refugees were transferred to Nakivale camp in Insigiro district on Wednesday. So far there are 10,416 refugees at the transit center.
Kisoro Resident District Commissioner, Hajji Shafique Ssekandi Ssengoba told URN that they decided to move the clearing services to the Uganda-Rwanda border of Chanika in consultation with higher government authorities.
Hajji Shafique Ssekandi SSengoba, Kisoro Resident District Commissioner has revealed to our reporter that the soldiers and police officers have crossed back to their country through Ishasha border in Kanungu district under fully escort of UPDF soldiers.
In his statement issued Monday, General Sylvain Ekenge Bomusa Efomi, the Spokesman for the North Kivu governor, says that the rebels shot Mwisa dead on Sunday evening in Musaga along Bunagana-Rutshuru road, less than 5 kilometers to Uganda-DR Congo border of Bunagana.
A Ugandan security source at the border, says that the soldiers fled into Uganda following non-stop fighting on Sunday day and night. The FARDC soldiers, who were manning the border abandoned tanks and other kinds of weapons as they fled to Uganda.
Ismail Ndayambaje, the Bunagana town council LC3 chairman says that on Sunday morning more than 4,000 refugees have crossed into Bunagana. He admits that the refugees are suffering extremely due to the complete lack of water in the town council since since the crisis started on Saturday.
Humanitarian aid agencies at the transit center, say that the huge influx of refugees has led to a shortage of accommodation shelter. Hillary Adomat, a Shelter Technical Officer for the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) which supports orphaned and vulnerable children in Central and Western Uganda, says that limited shelter has resulted in congestion during the time of sleeping.