Uganda Will Not Hand Over Fleeing M23 To DR Congo

Uganda will not hand over to the Democratic Republic of Congo M23 rebels who fled after a resounding military defeat, the spokesman for the army and the defence ministry said Friday.

Sultani Makenga with his Men.
Sultani Makenga (R) with his Men.

“They are not prisoners; they are soldiers running away from a war so we are receiving them and helping them because it is our responsibility,” Colonel Paddy Ankunda told international media, adding that Uganda had also welcomed fleeing soldiers from the DRC’s national army earlier in the year.

The March 23 Movement, a group formed 18 months ago, and which both Rwanda and Uganda have been accused of backing, was defeated by the Congolese army with the backing of United Nations forces and on Tuesday announced that it was putting an end to its military operations.

Uganda military officers said Thursday that some 1,500 insurgents from the M23 had crossed the border and surrendered.

“They will not be handed over to DRC. The peace agreement will determine, in matters of reintegration and reinsertion, the fate of the M23 soldiers,” Ankunda said, referring to an agreement that was being negotiated under Ugandan mediation between the DR Congo government and the M23 before the resounding military defeat.

A further 95 men, all wounded, sought refuge in neighbouring Rwanda, where they are receiving medical treatment, according to the local Red Cross.

Analysts have cast doubt on the figure of 1,500, saying that the entire M23 force numbered only around 1,000 men at the end of October.

They have suggested that the figure given by Uganda may include insurgents’ family members.

Agencies

6 thoughts on “Uganda Will Not Hand Over Fleeing M23 To DR Congo

  1. Paddy Ankunda, they are not `’soldiers running away”. Soldiers of which army?? They are armed renegades who have been committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, having made Eastern Congo the rape capital of the world. You must hand them over to face justice. The reason you don`t want to hand them over is well known: M23 was created by Kagame, and actively supported by Museveni throught their existence, If you hand them over, they`ll talk and embarrass the two dictators.This is one of the main reasons why President Kikwete of Tanzania is so pissed off with Museveni and Kagame

  2. It’s interesting to note that a soldier doesn’t seem to know the definition of a soldier, or is Ankunda being intentionally ignorant. All those ‘soldiers’ qualify for treason charges in the Congo for trying to remove an elected government by arms.

  3. Totally agree with Beebwa…it is shameful that these rapists and looters are being given sanctuary. What must others countries this of this disgrace?

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