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Suspected ADF commander, two others arrested in Ntoroko District

Suspected ADF commander, two others arrested in Ntoroko District

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has arrested a man suspected to be the commander of a group of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels who attacked Ntoroko District in December last year.

The UPDF spokesperson, Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye, in a tweet, said the army was also holding two other suspected rebels.

“This accounts for all the terrorists that launched the attack. None has gone back,” he said.

 The Ntoroko Resident District Commissioner, Rtd Maj Edward Jones Mugabirwe, said they also recovered two more guns from the suspects.

“It’s true we arrested three more ADF rebels on Tuesday in areas of Kibuuku where they have been hiding. We recovered two guns and we are soon declaring that there are no more ADF rebels in the district because all rebels who crossed to Ntoroko have either been killed or arrested,” Mr Mugabirwe said.

He said in total, 53 ADF rebels had crossed from DR Congo and were intercepted by the UPDF in Bweramule Sub-county, 25 have been arrested, 26 killed while two crossed back to DR Congo.

Since December 13 last year, there has been an ongoing operation by the UPDF to flush out ADF rebels who had crossed from DR Congo and attacked Bweramule Sub-county in Ntoroko District.

Mr Mugabirwe said, together with local leaders, they have now embarked on conducting sensitisation meetings for local residents, who were internally displaced by ADF rebels, to return to their homes.

“Some of our people have continued to live in fear, some have decided to stay away from their homes since the ADF rebels attacked but now we have embarked on sensitisation meetings in areas where these people are staying. We have done meetings in Bweramule and Kibuuku sub-counties. We want them to return to their homes,” he said.

The district chairman, Mr William Kasoro, said about 8,000 people were internally displaced. By Tuesday, few of the displaced people had started returning to their homes in the villages of Kayaja, Kyobe and Karugaju.

In the last three weeks, they have been temporarily living in trading centres of Kisenge, Karugutu, Kibuuku, and Rwamabale, where some have rented houses while others stay with their relatives. Others are sleeping at Karugutu Health Centre IV.

The Bweramule Sub-county chairman, Mr Stephen Asaba, on Monday said about 500 residents, who had returned to their homes, received some relief food from Emmanuel Compassion, a church-based organisation from Bundibugyo District.

“Few people have returned to their homes and we hope by end of this week majority of them will have returned. Those who returned were each given some relief food of five kilogrammes of maize flour, three kilogrammes bean and three packets of salt. We hope others who missed will be given when they return,” he said.

The Kyobe Village chairman, Mr Moses Kaguma, said his area was the most affected, with 10 rebels killed. He added that although most people have returned, they are still living in fear.

“I have a population of more 500 people. Some have returned, especially men, some are still staying in rental houses in Rwamabale and Karugutu areas but our request is to have more security to protect our people both day and night,” he said.

He said out of 42 households in his village, by Monday evening, members of five households had returned.

Mr Eden Irumba, a resident of Kayaja Village, said during the night, UPDF soldiers have continued to conduct night patrols but few people have been able to return to their homes.

“Some people return to check on their property during day and go back to the camps when the sun sets. It’s only few men who are sleeping in their homes but their wives and children are in camps. We need security that can protect us,” he said.

The villages that were most affected include Kayaja II, Kiringa, Kyobe, Kyapa, Bweramule, Kaitampara, Kyagabukama, Karugaju, Rukora A, B and C.

The Kayaja II Village chairman, Mr Edison Balinda, said his area has 69 households but since ADF rebels attacked last year, about 10 household members have been able to return.

“People in my village have continued to desert their homes including myself. They need security to be able to fully return to their homes,” he said.

Attacks

According to the UPDF, In total, 53 ADF rebels had crossed from DR Congo and were intercepted in Bweramule Sub-county, 25 have been arrested, 26 killed while two crossed back to Democratic Republic of Congo.

Since December 13 last year, there has been an ongoing operation by the UPDF to flush out ADF rebels who had crossed from DR Congo and attacked Bweramule Sub-county in Ntoroko District.

Source: Monitor

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