Nothing much has been done to stop the activities of Ugandan rebels hiding in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UPDF Second Division spokesperson, Captain Kiconco Tabaro has said.
Tabaro was speaking at a function to receive a senior member of the rebel Allied Democratic Force (ADF) who was captured by the Congolese authorities in Rubiriha earlier this month. He said there was little evidence of the work of the United Nations peacekeeping mission to the Congo (MONUC), which is charged with rooting out belligerent forces in the volatile eastern DRC.
Tabaro said there is evidence that the ADF has resumed recruitment and abduction of civilians to join the rebellion and is actively regrouping in Irengete in the DRC.
The captured ADF fighter, Stanley Masereka, corroborated these claims.
Masereka, a resident of Ndongo village in Nyakiyumbu sub-county, Kasese, told journalists he was abducted from St. John's Minor Seminary in Kisinga sub-county in July 1997, when he was a senior one student. He said he was abducted with 20 other students, but only two are left in the ADF ranks.
Masereka disclosed that he was arrested by the Congolese authorities in Butembo where he had gone to collect equipment including solar torches, clothes and shoes. He said a man, identified as Muhindo, was the main supplier of ADF equipment in Butembo.
Masereka did not have a second name for Muhindo. Muhindo is a very common name among the Bakonzo in western Uganda.
According to Masereka, the ADF have the capacity to launch an attack against Uganda and is actively regrouping for an assault. He said he saw Jamil Mukula, the notorious ADF leader, in July last year when he visited the rebels to convince them to remain active.
Masereka said he was sorry for his activities and requested to be pardoned and released to continue his studies.
The previous day, the Government of Uganda handed over four Congolese dissidents arrested in Uganda on March 18th .
The group, arrested along the Bunagana border in Kisoro, was led by Second Lieutenant Emmanuel Byamungu. Others were Private Abdullah Kamana, Private Emmanuel Sabimana and Private Simon Milecheraho. The soldiers are believed to be members of a rebel group led by Congolese renegade officer, Laurent Nkunda.
The 2nd Division army spokesperson, Capt Kiconco Tabaro disclosed that the handover of four dissidents makes 64 dissidents handed to Congo Government arrested in Uganda since last year.