New Congo rebel group fuels fear in western UgandaBy TABU BUTAGIRA | Monday, February 11 2013 at 11:26
A new Congolese rebel group has reportedly set a training camp close to the porous Ugandan border, sparking security concerns in West Nile.
The Ugandan military, however, said there was no need to panic because “this is a country we are able to monitor 24/7”.
Intelligence sources say a Congolese politician in eastern DRC, who reportedly enjoys warm relations with leaders of a neighbouring country, leads the armed outfit whose fighters are said to be receiving military drills at Kingezi Bazi.
The training base is at the confluence of the DRC, Uganda and South Sudan frontier – nearer Oraba border post in Koboko District on the Ugandan side, and South Sudan’s Bazi enclave.
Koboko Resident District Commissioner Elizabeth Ayume, who oversees security at the border district, said she did not have a “ready answer” when asked about the rebel group. In Kampala, military spokesperson Felix Kulayigye said the reported insurrection is Congo’s internal affair, but “the best thing for the Congolese leadership is to address the issues amicably with this stakeholder”.
“It does not pay to begin pointing fingers at either of the belligerents,” Col. Kulayigye said.
The new rebel group, against advice by some of its early sympathisers, last November attacked Ariwara Town, a few kilometres from Uganda’s Odramacaku border trading centre in Arua District.
Kinshasa officials deployed heavily in Ariwara, Aru and Bunia towns in the aftermath of that strike. However, President Joseph Kabila later yielded to lobbyists, including his advisors and some Ugandan actors, to withdraw the government troops as a confidence-building measure to allow for a negotiated settlement. The politician’s bank accounts, frozen over his alleged subversive activities, were unblocked reportedly on direct orders of Mr Kabila.
Our investigations show a follow up meeting between the two principals planned to take place in gold-rich Duruba Town in last week of January flopped, showing a deal with an emerging warlord was unlikely to cause harm.
Persuaded that the politician could mobilise for and work with Kinshasa, President Kabila reportedly offered him $60,000 to enable him buy a car to facilitate his movement.
Instead, the man, after a meeting with government contacts in Kampala, reportedly crossed the border to South Sudan, and bought guns to arm his forces to fight the Kabila regime.
Officials of DRC embassy in Kampala were unavailable for comment. Leaders of the new rebel group are said to be scheming to liaise with M23 rebels, who last November,overrun Goma city after terrified Congolese soldiers retreated hurriedly without firing back.
- Kenya's President receives TJRC report
- Why Obama is visiting Tanzania
- The girl who met Gaddafi 'in hell'
- US 'committed to partnership with Kenya'
- Namibia finds oil for first time
- Kenyan call girls go high-tech
- Kisumu, where some folks are eating well, while others are going hungry
- Achebe’s body arrives home
- It's a tough life for Sierra Leone's gays
Beyond the ballot