Police explains attempted riot of ex-M23 combatants

Ten former M23 rebels were arrested on Monday for inciting violence at their camp in Ngoma District.

Ten former M23 rebels were arrested on Monday for inciting violence at their camp in Ngoma District.

The ex-combatants, who fled into Rwanda in March and are seeking asylum after renouncing rebellion, attempted to protest in the wee hours of Monday morning, Police said.

Police was forced to shoot in the air to calm the situation.

Speaking to The New Times, Police spokesperson Theos Badege said the former fighters attempted to resist a routine security search.

“We normally conduct a cordon and search as a security precaution, these people didn’t know that it’s our policy. They attempted to put up some resistance but we contained the situation with no causalities,” said Badege, adding that the men tried to attack Police officers.

“To restore calm, Police fired in the air. Later,10 of the ringleaders were isolated from others and taken to Police to record a statement,” said Badege.

He added that the operation later continued smoothly.

Fleeing to Rwanda

“We seized several items, including cannabis, illegal brew, knives, military uniforms, and some patterns of military equipment,” said Badege.

He added that no ammunitions were found in the camp since the former combatants were disarmed as they entered Rwanda in March. 

The 682 rebel fighters who were led by  the former political leader Jean-Marie Runiga and Gen Bosco Ntaganda, currently on trial at the ICC, fled into Rwanda after losing a fight with another M23 rebel group led by Gen. Sultani Makenga.

In July, the group renounced all political activities and any issues that can be affiliated to armed groups in DR Congo.

The former fighters made the renouncement individually.

 

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