Ex M23 Combatants Accused of Fueling Kisoro Insecurity

3858 Views Kisoro, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Leaders in Kisoro District say cases of gun related murder and aggravated robbery have escalated since M23 ex-rebels crossed into the district.

Kisoro district is experiencing rampant insecurity, a wave that authorities attribute to the presence of M23 ex-combatants in the area. The Ex-combatants sought refuge in districts neighboring the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2013 after a ceasefire agreement that ended their activities and control in Goma.

However, leaders in Kisoro District say cases of gun related murder and aggravated robbery have escalated since the ex-rebels crossed into the district with their sympathizers.

In one of the incidences, Innocent Mugisha, a prominent businessman in Kisoro town was gunned down by unknown assailants while at his home in Kisoro municipality. The gunmen also shot another person Steven Yumvirusaba, before fleeing from the scene.  Several other incidences were recorded in recent months.

Kisoro District Chairperson Abel Bizimana says that many M23 fighters did not properly handover their ammunitions before crossing into Ugandan territory. He says most of the rebels dumped in various areas in Kisoro where they were accessed by criminal gangs adding that with such proliferation of arms, cases of insecurity are bound to increase.
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Bizimana now wants government to take a step in making sure that all guns in the area are secured from wrong elements.  He also wants all urban refugees living in the District be investigated.
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Bufumbira East County MP Dr James Nsaba Buturo says that M23 ex-rebels are a threat to natives within Kisoro. He demands that the ex-rebels be transferred to another area.

Kisoro Resident district Commissioner Hajji Shafique Ssekandi says that   the some of the rebels have been cited in the acts of robbery, gambling and trading in ivory, cocaine and opium.

He adds that the existence of M23 and outcome of their presence in Kisoro is being discussed by security officials at National level.

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