3 Suspected Ugandan Rebels Arrested in DRC

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In short
Three suspected Ugandan rebels believed to be senior commanders in three separate groups, are in the custody of Congolese authorities awaiting extradition to Uganda.

Three suspected Ugandan rebels believed to be senior commanders in three separate groups, are in the custody of Congolese authorities awaiting extradition to Uganda.

The arrests come hardly a month after Caesar Acellam, a top commander of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), was arrested by UPDF forces on border between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic where the rebel outfit operates.
According to Ibrahim Abiriga, the Arua Resident District Commissioner who also doubles as the vice chair of the West Nile-Ituri cross-border security committee, the three were arrested in different times and circumstances.
Abiriga, who has traveled to Bunia, the regional city of Ituri Province in northeastern DRC to pick up the suspected rebels, said one Captain Okot of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) surrendered to Congolese authorities in the border town of Ombokolo last week. He was taken to Bunia.

Abiriga said another rebel suspect only identified as Col. Yosa of the shadowy People’s Redemption Army (PRA) was reportedly arrested by the Congolese from the jungles of Ituri. He too was transferred to Bunia.
The RDC also disclosed that another unidentified rebel suspect, reportedly belonging to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), was nabbed when the Congolese armed forces attacked their base in North Kivu province. He is also being held in Bunia.
Abiriga revealed that the three suspected rebels are to be handed over to the Ugandan authorities by Col. Falla, the Overall Commander of the Congolese Army in Ituri. He said the two sides have a harmonious working relationship aimed at creating stability along the border.
Col Felix Kulayigye, the army and defence spokesman said although he has not yet heard of the arrests, he isn’t surprised because Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have a pact that mandates either party to get rid of negative forces in their territory.
Col Kulayigye said the army will continue to work hard to protect Uganda’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

Northeastern DRC remains a volatile place where most Ugandan dissidents operate. If independently confirmed, the arrest of the three suspected rebels would bring to five the number of dissidents nabbed from the DRC.

Before Accellam's arrest, another top LRA commander, Thomas Kwoyelo, was also arrested by the UPDF in northeastern DRC in 2009. He is still being held in jail, months after he challenged his trial at the War Crimes Court where he faced 53 charges of war crimes.

Under the West Nile-Ituri cross-border security arrangement, dozens of criminals, mainly car and motorcycle robbers, have been extradited to either side of the border.


About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.

In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."