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DRC Fighting: Kisoro Residents Live in Fear

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.
Elias Mbishinzimana who was shot on the arm (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

Audio 6

People in Kisoro district directly affected by the ongoing fighting between the March 23 Movement -M23 rebels and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo -FARDC are crying for help from the government.   

The fighting started in March this year in Rutshuru territory as rebels accuse the Congolese government of failing to fulfill a peace agreement that was signed in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.  M23 rebels also claim to be fighting against bad leadership in DR Congo based on corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination.  

During heavy fighting on March 28 this year a Rocket Propelled Grenade fired by FARDC forces along the Ugandan- Democratic Republic of Congo border of Bunagana hills missed a target against the rebels, crossed to Uganda, and hit the house belonging to Joseph Sezibera, a resident of Busanza village in Bunagana ward, Bunagana town council.

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. 

Mbinshinzimana was walking home from a nearby trading center in the morning less than a kilometer to the Uganda-DR Congo border when he was hit by a bullet and was immediately rushed to St. Francis Mutorere hospital where he spent one and a half weeks receiving treatment.

He is now unable to carry out his causal work of digging 

//Cue in: “zali naku 23…//

 Cue out:…teguli bulungi.”//   

Rufumbira

//Cue in: “zari myisi makumi…//

 Cue out:…netugenda nabo.”//   

Sezibera ,80, says that fighting on that day started towards midday, lasting more than six hours.  Sezibera says that because he is old and unable to run, he decided to stay at home, only to be shocked as a rocket shell hit his house and damaged it.

Sezibera says that it was by God’s mercy that the shell hit the house when there was no person inside.   Sezibera says that since then, he, his wife, and four children have always lived in very much fear that any time what happened may happen again and claim their lives.   He wants the Ugandan government to liaise with the Congolese government so that he gets compensated since he is innocently suffering the consequence of a war that he was not involved in. 

//Cue in: “ekabayeho nali ndi…//

Cue out: …ahokurara gusa.”//

  Ismail Ndayambaje, Bunagana town council LC3 Chairman says that he has already reported the matter to Kisoro district security officials so that all the victims of the fighting between M23 rebels and DR Congo government soldiers get compensated. 

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Hajji Shafique Ssekandi, Kisoro Resident District Commissioner says that his office is aware of the matter.  Without revealing identities, Ssekandi says that in addition to Mbishinzimana, there are other three people who were hit by bullets that crossed into  Ugandan space.  

Ssekandi calls for patience saying that an assessment of victims has already been made and a report forwarded to the office of the prime minister for consideration. 

//Cue in: “there is a…//

Cue out: …of war.”// 

Luganda

//Cue in: “orutaro lwatandikira mu…//

Cue out: …nga baduka.”//