Kisoro, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Kisoro district security committee has resolved to close the Uganda-DRC border of Bunagana. The decision came after the M23 rebels overran the border inside the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A team of officials led by Kisoro Resident District Commissioner Hajji Shafique Ssekandi, and LCV chairperson Abel Bizimana closed the border around 7:30pm on Monday. Before the border closure, M23 rebels at the DRC side addressed some of the locals and advised them to remain in Uganda, saying they want to first sort out their enemies, the Congolese government troops in the area.
Shortly after the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers and Uganda Police Force closed the Ugandan border and ordered all the refugees to relocate far away from the border area, they also asked all truckers to park and not dare cross into DRC.
Ssekandi told URN that they took the decision to close the border because of the tense situation, adding nobody is supposed to cross to Uganda for security reasons. He explained that since immigration and customs offices on the Congolese side are none operational because all workers have fled, no truck is supposed to crossover.
Ssekandi also revealed that they had ordered all business owners in Bunagana town council to close by 7:00pm and sleep to avoid mixing with Congolese refugees who are sleeping on verandahs to give security space to monitor the area.
He revealed that 174 Congolese security officers including 137 soldiers and 37 police officers who fled to Uganda after being defeated by the rebels will be handed over to their country’s authorities at a later stage when all necessary procedures are complete.
Both the Congolese army and government are accusing Rwanda of supporting the “terrorists” of M23, a charge Kigali has vehemently denied.