200 FDLR rebels flee to Uganda

• Kampala says ready to thwart any incursion More than two hundred rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are reported to have fled into neighboring Uganda after being flushed out of Eastern DRC by a joint Rwandan-Congolese military operation.

• Kampala says ready to thwart any incursion

More than two hundred rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are reported to have fled into neighboring Uganda after being flushed out of Eastern DRC by a joint Rwandan-Congolese military operation.

Sources from MONUC, the UN mission in DR Congo say the FDLR, a group composed mainly of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis has crossed into Matanda in the western part of Uganda. It was also reported that the rebels could be trying to infiltrate Bwindi National Park on the border with Rwanda.

Speaking from Kampala in a telephone interview last evening, Uganda’s army Spokesperson Maj. Felix Kuraije said FDLR rebels ‘would be committing suicide to enter Uganda’.

“We have no room for these people. They killed many people and we are very ready to fight them,” Maj. Kuraije said.

The army spokesperson said Bwindi National Park was also heavily protected by the army and emphasised that FDLR could not use it again.

By press time, Kuraije had not confirmed the alleged presence of FDLR on Ugandan soil but added that the army was ‘on the lookout’.

Over a dozen of FDLR militias have been killed in eastern DR Congo since the operation began last week.

Hundreds, including Congolese militia, have already surrendered. Some were killed in Lubero, a region in the DRC, 370 Kilometres northeast of the regional capital Goma.

The Congolese army this week urged the rebels and other armed groups in the country’s eastern region to surrender or face fire.

The on-going Rwanda-DRC military operation to forcefully disarm and repatriate the Interahamwe came about after several high-level bilateral meetings last year.

The FDLR have for the last 15 years been operating in the DRC from where they committed atrocities against Congolese civilians and also continue to hatch their plans of destabilizing Rwanda.

The operation was endorsed December 5, last year, after a two-day meeting between both countries’ Foreign Affairs Ministers in Goma and later followed by an almost similar meeting by their Defence counterparts in Gisenyi (Rwanda) to chart its implementation.

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