Armed Thugs Attack Ugandan Traders In DRC

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Ugandan businessmen have fled Ogbokolo town in the Democratic Republic of Congo following a suspected rebel attacks. The attacks that started early this week, escalated on Thursday after dozens of heavily armed men raided the town and started shooting indiscriminately. As a result, several Ugandan businessmen and Congolese nationals fled into Uganda for fear of being killed by the armed men.

Peter Yakani, one of the affected traders said on Friday that following the attack, they fled into Koboko leaving behind their merchandise. He says that the gunmen threatened to shoot whoever delays to leave the town. He explains that this was the fifth time; the gunmen were raiding Ogbokolo town to loot property within a space of one week. Yakani says that most of the traders, who fled from the town, are now leaving with their relatives in Koboko Keri area and Odramacaku in Arua district.

Moses Laga, a driver who plies the Ogbokolo-Ariwara route says on Monday all his tires were deflated by the suspected rebels who also robbed him of 500 dollars. Security officials at Ugandan border say that their counterparts in DRC have not yet come out to explain the people behind the attacks. Lt. Mark Mutono, the West Nile region UPDF spokesperson says despite the fact that some people claim the attacks are orchestrated by armed thugs, they are not taking the matter lightly since people have lost property. He says they have stepped up security along the border to screen people crossing into the country.

John Arinaitwe, the Arua refugee desk officer says that they have received any Congolese national seeking for help. He however, says that they are aware of the situation in DRC.

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