By Longino Muhindo & Alex Ashaba
Security has been beefed up at the border districts of Bundibugyo and Ntoroko to prevent Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels from crossing into Uganda. The development follows a Sunday night attack by suspected ADF rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The incident, which occurred in Kichanga, Watalinga County inside DRC, approximately 20 kilometres from the Ugandan border in Bundibugyo, prompted an influx of Congolese refugees into Uganda. As of midday yesterday, the number of refugees had risen to 1,202 from the 1,000 who arrived on Monday evening, according to the director of communication at the Uganda Red Cross, Ms Irene Nakasiita.
“Our volunteers are instructed to guide refugees to the designated transit centre, Bubukwanga Transit Camp in Bundibugyo District. Simultaneously, some refugees may still opt to use porous entry points. We have deployed our volunteers to various entry points to provide guidance and extend humanitarian assistance,” Ms Nakasita said.
She said of the 1,202 refugees who had crossed into Uganda, 293 are adults above 18 years (128 males and 165 females), 293 children aged zero to four (193 males and 200 females), and 516 children aged five to 17 years (275 males and 241 females).
Security operatives have since been deployed at all border points, including porous borders on River Lamia. Lt Col Alex Bright, the Bundibugyo Resident District Commissioner, who doubles as head of security, said security personnel had been deployed at at the porous borders of Bundingoma Busunga, Kachiri, Butoogho, and Kazoroho.