369 Congolese Refugees Cross into Uganda As Fighting Resumes

Fighting erupted on Saturday afternoon in Bugusa and Gisiza and Kinyamahura.
M23 statement
More than 369 people have crossed into Uganda through the Uganda- Democratic Republic of Congo- DRC border of Bunagana in Kisoro District after the resumption of fighting between Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) soldiers and the March 23 Movement (M23) in Rutshuru territory.  

Fighting erupted on Saturday afternoon in Bugusa and Gisiza and Kinyamahura. A security source at Bunagana border told our reporter on condition of anonymity that the fighting compelled more Congolese civilians to flee to the Ugandan side.

He says that by Sunday 369 people had crossed and more were still entering the country. 

Daniel Kisamo, the settlement commandant of refugees in the office of the Prime Minister says that more refugees are fleeing the war-troubled area to Kisoro. He says that the new refugees will be taken to the Nyakabande reception centre.

More than 16,000 refugees are being hosted at the reception centre. On Thursday, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees(UNHCR) started transferring refugees from the Nyakabande reception centre to Nakivale refugees camp in Isingiro district.

In the first batch, 1,000 refugees were transferred. 

Fresh fighting started when DRC excluded M23 rebels from the ongoing talks with other rebel groups in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The talks started on  Saturday. 

The office of the Congolese presidency accused M23 rebels of resuming fighting against FARDC soldiers yet talks had started.  

M23 rebels through their spokesperson, Major Willy Ngoma released a statement accusing FARDC soldiers of attacking their various positions in Bugusa. Ngoma says that as M23, they were ready and prepared to participate in the ongoing talks in Nairobi but were surprised by FARDC soldiers launching attacks.

Ngoma says that M23 has no option but to defend themselves until the FARDC soldiers stop carrying out attacks.   

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