More than 180 Congolese individuals have crossed the border into Uganda following an alleged attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) on a village in Kasindi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to Brig. Felix Kulayigye, the attack resulted in the loss of at least 5 to 10 lives, although the exact number of casualties is yet to be confirmed.
“I think they killed some people between 5 and 10, and then the village swam into Uganda. So as I speak now, about 180 people have crossed the border,” he confirmed.
He added that in response to the incident, there have been reports of abductions, prompting the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) to actively pursue the attackers who are fleeing from the offensive launched in Ituri, DRC.
“We understand these fellows could have headed to the National Park, the community park and we are monitoring them,” he added.
The group includes mainly women and children from a township in Lubiriha neighbouring Uganda.
According to local leaders, a section of asylum seekers are currently camped at St. Michael Catholic Shrine-Kabuyiri in Mpondwe town, while others have decided to go back instead of being taken to other refugee holding facilities.
Sylvester Mapozi, the Mpondwe-Lubiriha Town Council chairman, revealed that the group entered the country through Kabururu cell at around 11 p.m. on Sunday under the guard of the UPDF.
He added that local leaders are working with security personnel and other partners to organize for the refugees, anticipating their departure as soon as there are reports of normalcy.
He further revealed that one Ugandan who had gone to the garden in the DRC was also among the group that entered the country. He, however, expressed concern about the challenges of sheltering the overwhelming group and other basic needs.
“We are mobilizing the local community to get food and other items for the Congolese while registering those who would wish to remain with relatives in Uganda,” he added.