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Insecurity in Eastern DRC could disrupt road works – Minister Baryomunsi

Minister Chris Baryomunsi

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The insecurity in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could hinder the tarmacking of 223-kilometre roads.

In June, President Yoweri Museveni and Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi launched the tarmacking of 997 kilometre Mpondwe-Beni road, 181 Kilometre Goli-Beni road and 89 Kilometre Bunagana-Rutchuru-Goma road, to boost trade between the two countries.

The government will inject about 243.7 Billion Shillings towards tarmacking the roads. However, the Eastern part of DRC is facing insurgencies by rebel and militia groups like Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Mai Mai, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, FDLR-Nyantura coalition, and Cooperative for the Development of the Congo CODECO, a militia group commanded by Bernard Kakado and Justin Ngudjolo among others.

On Sunday, an unknown rebel group clashed with the Congolese government army in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu Province. Heavy fighting happened in the villages of Chanzu and Runyoni in Rutshuru territory, about 25 kilometres from the border with Uganda, forcing thousands of Congolese nationals in the affected area to flee into Uganda through Bunagana and other porous borders in Kisoro district.

The Minister for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi explains that the recent attacks may cause disruptions to the progress of the road works. Baryomunsi however says that the government is ready to provide adequate security to the contractor.

According to Baryomunsi, officials will keep on monitoring the situation and in case the insecurity persists, the government will halt the project until the situation normalizes.

Baryomunsi said that the Ugandan government is holding diplomatic meetings with the Congolese government to forge means of how security can be restored in Eastern DRC.

At least 11,000 people fled into Uganda through Bunagana and Kibaya borders in Kisoro district following the Sunday and Monday fighting in Rutshuru. The affected people started returning home on Tuesday afternoon after calm had been restored in the affected villages.

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