11222017

Fearing repatriation to Congo, M23 rebels flee Ugandan camp

A Ugandan military spokesman says scores of Congo’s M23 rebels have fled the camp where they were being held ahead of repatriation to Congo.

Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said Tuesday there were plans to airlift hundreds of the ex-fighters but many resisted the deportation saying the Congo government had not honored the terms of a peace deal signed last year.

Bertrand Bisimwa, the civilian head of M23, told The Associated Press that hundreds of the fighters fled into the mountains surrounding the Bihanga military camp in western Uganda when trucks arrived to transport the men to an airbase. Some of those fleeing were shot and wounded, he said.

He said M23 members are afraid to return to Congo without a firm guarantee of protection from the Kinshasa government.

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