Uganda tightens security at border with DRC


Security tightened at border with DRC

Enhanced security measures have been implemented in the border regions of Bundibugyo and Ntoroko in order to prevent the infiltration of rebels belonging to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) into Uganda. This action has been taken in response to a recent assault on Sunday night, suspected to have been carried out by ADF rebels in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The aforementioned incident took place in Kichanga, located in Watalinga County within the DRC, approximately 20 kilometers away from the Ugandan border in Bundibugyo. As a consequence, there has been a significant influx of Congolese refugees seeking safety within Uganda. According to Ms. Irene Nakasiita, the director of communication at the Uganda Red Cross, the number of refugees had increased to 1,202 as of midday yesterday, surpassing the initial count of 1,000 refugees who arrived on Monday evening.

Efforts have been made by the Uganda Red Cross to guide the refugees towards the designated transit center, namely the Bubukwanga Transit Camp in Bundibugyo District. Nevertheless, it is possible that some refugees may choose to enter through unmonitored entry points. In response to this, volunteers have been deployed to various entry points to provide guidance and deliver essential humanitarian aid, as stated by Ms. Nakasiita.

Out of the total number of refugees who have crossed into Uganda, which amounts to 1,202 individuals, 293 are adults aged 18 and above (consisting of 128 males and 165 females), 293 are children aged zero to four (comprising of 193 males and 200 females), and 516 are children aged five to 17 (consisting of 275 males and 241 females), according to Ms. Nakasiita.

To ensure the safety of the border areas, security forces have been stationed at all points of entry, including the porous borders along River Lamia. Lt Col Alex Bright, who serves as the Resident District Commissioner of Bundibugyo and also heads the security operations, has confirmed the deployment of security personnel at the vulnerable borders of Bundingoma Busunga, Kachiri, Butoogho, and Kazoroho.

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