Panic As 750 Ex-M23 Rebels Go Missing From Bihanga Army Training School
By Serestino Tusingwire
Ugandans are currently in great fears after reports that 750 former M23 rebels escaped from Bihanga Army Training school where they have been kept since their defeat by Congolese troops and UN peace keepers in 2013.
The shocking news was revealed on Wednesday by the Intelligence Officer at Bihanga Army Training School, Capt. Peter Tuhairwe.
He revealed this during the visit of delegation of Defense Attaches from UN, India, USA, Rwanda, France and Tanzania embassies in Uganda.
The team was in Bihanga to check on the situation of the former rebels, and follow up reports of escape.
The most recent cases of escape were registered on January 14 and 16 when 60 and 42 former rebels respectively disappeared.
It was reported that on January 17, 76 escaped and were arrested in Mbarara and were taken back.
A total of 1377 former M23 rebels were relocated to Bihanga Army Training School from Kavera in Kasese on December 10, 2013 after they entered the country seeking refuge following heavy gnfire in DRC.
They are currently 391 rebels left in the camp, 19 are admitted at army hospital in Bombo, one is under detention, nine died, 193 were repatriated, seven are on official duty in Kampala and seven are away with permission.
According to Capt. Tuhairwe, the Anxiety to return home is the major reason driving most of them to escape, while others are trying to join their commanders.
The (M23) was a rebel military group based in Eastern area of DR Congo, operating mainly in North Kivu Province led by Col. Sultani Makenga. They were defeated in 2013 by Congolese troops and UN peace keepers.