Ugandan Peacekeepers Injured in Ambush in DRC

Ugandan Peacekeepers Injured in Ambush in DRC
PHOTO - France 24
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In a recent incident in North Kivu province, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a convoy of Ugandan peacekeeping troops was ambushed by an unidentified militia. The attack occurred along the Rutshuru – Bunagana road in the Rukoro – Buari area on Monday evening. The convoy was en route to the Uganda – DR Congo border at Bunagana from Kiwanja to resupply necessities when the incident took place.

Captain Hassan Ahmed Kato, the Spokesperson of the Ugandan Contingent, confirmed that two soldiers were injured by bullets fired by the armed group. However, the troops managed to repel the attack, and the convoy continued on its way to Bunagana. The injured soldiers were promptly taken to Kisoro Hospital in Kisoro district, where they are receiving treatment and are currently in stable condition. Kato emphasized the need for such attacks against peacekeeping troops to cease immediately and warned that the troops have the mandate to defend themselves if necessary. He also stressed that the attack would not hinder Ugandan troops from fulfilling the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) mission in DR Congo.

The East African Community Regional Force Communications department released a statement confirming the incident and announced the initiation of investigations into the ambush. As of now, no armed group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The March 23 Movement (M23) rebels condemned the attack against Ugandan troops but accused the DR Congo army and the Militia Coalition, under the umbrella of Wazalendo (patriots), of ambushing the Ugandan troops as a means to disrupt peace restoration efforts in North Kivu through dialogue.

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The ambush on Ugandan troops occurred as some local residents and political activists in Goma city threaten to hold a demonstration, demanding the departure of EAC regional Force troops from Congolese soil. They accuse them of failing to launch an assault against M23 rebels. Fierce fighting between Wazalendo and M23 rebels erupted earlier this month in Masisi, Rutshuru, and Nyiragongo territories.

Tensions have been escalating, with the DR Congo government accusing Rwanda of supporting M23, while Rwanda and M23 deny these allegations. M23 rebels claim to be fighting against bad leadership in DR Congo, citing corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination as their primary grievances.

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