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Uganda hands over suspected rebel leader to DRC authorities

Justin Olea in handcuffs being handed over to the Congolese authorities at Vurra Customs. URN photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A suspected Congolese rebel leader who escaped from Aruu prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC has been handed over to the Congolese authorities.

Justin Olea, 25, escaped from prison after he was arrested for allegedly leading a rebel group in Eastern DRC and stealing US Dollars 55,000 from a petrol station a month ago.

The Congolese security and their Ugandan counterparts launched a search for him until he was found hiding in one of the hotels in Arua city.

The security personnel in Arua later liaised with their Congolese counterparts and on Tuesday, he was handed over to the Congolese authorities at the Uganda-DR Congo border in Vurra Custom.

Arua Resident District Commissioner Festus Ayikobua who led the Uganda delegation appealed for cooperation between the two neighbors regarding security. Ayikobua urged the authorities in DRC to ensure the victims of his actions are given justice.

Speaking in Lingala, the Congolese team leader Major Jean Bwana Pierre commended Ugandan authorities and expressed gratitude for the cooperation between the two countries which led to the arrest of the suspect. Major Bwana pledged full collaboration with Ugandan authorities for future engagements.

Cornelius Aluma, the DRC government spokesperson for Aruu’ Province said the two countries will continue to support the Ngorodoto Agreement. The agreement signed between President Yoweri Museveni and the former DRC President Joseph Kabila is aimed at establishing peace and security in both countries and normalizing their relations and strengthening their cooperation.

“Our good relationship should go on so that our people can continue to enjoy the fruits of the bilateral cooperation we have signed,” said Cornelius. Following a series of criminal activities that disrupted activities between West Nile and DR Congo Aruu’ province in March this year, the leaders have re-committed themselves to working together to curb wrongdoings.



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