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Fresh Tension As DRC Troops, M23 Fighting Resumes :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Fresh Tension As DRC Troops, M23 Fighting Resumes

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.
Some of M23 rebels patrolling Congolese side of Bunagana border (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)
There is fresh tension in Bunagana town council Kisoro district following renewed clashes between the Congolese army backed by friendly militia and the M23 rebels in Rutshuru territory that broke out Thursday morning. Gunfire broke out around 03:00 am less than a kilometer from the border that has been under the control of the rebels since Monday this week.

The Congolese government troops are backed by fighters from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDRL), Mai Mai, and Nyatura militias. The government troops and the militia fighters were shooting in the hills near the border as the rebels shot back to defend their position at the border.

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. 

Ugandan security was forced to close Bunagana police station temporarily as Uganda People's Defense Forces-UPDF took over the no man’s land to prevent the fighting from spilling to Uganda. URN saw Ugandan security pushing the refugees up to about a kilometer away from the border.  They also ordered shops and homes less than a kilometer from the border to close. 

One of the M23 rebels told our reporter on condition of anonymity that the Congolese troops and their militia backers are conducting surprise attacks with the intention of looting the property of the people who fled to Uganda- a charge our reporter couldn't independently verify. Tension was still high by the time of filing this story. 

On Wednesday night, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) which is also collaborating with the Congolese troops through their spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Frederic Harvey revealed that MONUSCO troops are currently in a defensive position 4 kilometers from Bunagana and are planning, as part of the ongoing operations, to retake the position, which has fallen into the hands of the M23 since Monday.  

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