Uganda: Government Statement on M23 Rebels (19.01.2017)

Somali National Army training at Bihanga Military Training School, Uganda
Somali National Army training at Bihanga Military Training School, Uganda

The Uganda Government would like to inform the public and the international community that the M23 rebels that have been cantoned at Bihanga Military Training School in Ibanda District since the Agreement of 2014 have been quietly escaping into the general public and some to unknown places.

Last night, the Uganda Security intercepted four (4) vehicles at Mbarara that were carrying 101 former M23 combatants who were travelling on their way to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

These had disguised themselves as ordinary travelling passengers upon interrogation, it was established that they were part of the M23 former combatants who had been cantoned at Bihanga Barracks. These were stealthily leaving their gazetted place of abode contrary to the Agreement of 2014 and the protocols signed with the DRC Government.

Consequently, they were apprehended and are now being detained at Makenke Barracks, the second division Headquarters near Mbarara town. These 101 were following an earlier group of 40 that were discovered to have escaped seven (7) days ago and their whereabouts are not known.

Uganda would like to inform the public and international community that currently there are 270 former M23 combatants still cantoned at Buhanga.

We would like to restate our commitment to live by the agreements and obligations that were entered into in 2014.
Uganda will not and does not support any armed activities to distabilise the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We invite the media and observers to go to Makenke and conduct their own verification of these 101 former M23 detainees

Ofwono Opondo
Executive Director Uganda Media Centre and Government Spokesperson

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