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EXCLUSIVE: 30,000 Flee ADF As Tensions Flare

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pilule http://craigpatchett.com/wp-includes/functions.wp-styles.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Bundibugyo District Chairman Jolly Joe Tibamanya told Chimpreports on Friday morning that authorities had by midnight received at least 30, nurse 000 refugees who included women, recipe children and the elderly.

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“They slept hungry last night. We don’t have food supplies. The humanitarian agencies should quickly come to their rescue. This is a very dire situation that needs immediate attention from all stakeholders,” said Tibamanya.

He further noted that the ADF rebels have overpowered Congolese troops and managed to overrun their military bases thus flaring up tensions in the region.

Tibamanya elaborated that five armed Congolese police officers had also crossed to Uganda. “Security agencies disarmed them. They are also among the refugees we have here.”

The latest development has sparked off fears that ADF is preparing to wage war against Uganda.

It also points to a potential humanitarian catastrophe in Bundibugyo and Kasese should government and other relief agencies delay in providing food, medicine and shelter to the refugees.

Asked to specify which rebel groups were behind the armed insurgency in Congo, Tibamanya said the District had obtained information implicating ADF.

However, he did not rule out the participation of other players in the conflict especially the Mai Mai militia.

Pressed to comment on the security deployments at the border, Tibamanya expressed confidence that “UPDF has thousands of men here so we feel the District and the border are very secure.”

Meanwhile, sources say the family of a Congolese chief only identified as Bamukhoka, had crossed into Uganda on Thursday night.

Military and intelligence sources say the fighting between the Congolese troops and ADF was now taking place in areas that are just 10 kilometers away from the Uganda border.

UPDF Spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, told Chimpreports on Thursday evening that the army “has deployed heavily to secure lives and property of Ugandans near the border, adding, “In UPDF we don’t take anything for granted.”

Ankunda emphasized that “the fact that ADF are overrunning Congolese military bases near the border and the recent military build-up is a cause for worry.”

Deputy Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, said the refugees are now being housed in Bubandi Primary School. “They don’t have water and food and are now calling for help,” said Onyango.

HEAVILY ARMED

Security sources who interviewed some of the refugees said the ADF were “heavily-armed and in large numbers.”

Intelligence shows that the Islamist rebel group based around the Rwenzori Mountains of North Kivu, had increased the number of its combatants from 800 to 1,500 by January 2013.

Of these fighters, 1,000 are believed to be highly trained and well-equipped under military commander Hood Lukwago. It remains unclear whether Lukwago is currently training with the rebels since recent information showed that he was in Britain.

However, the sanctioned individual and elusive Al-Qaeda-trained combatant, Jamil Mukulu, remains the supreme leader.

Ankunda told this website that “it is now official that ADF are collaborating with Al Shabaab.”

He added: “Al-Shabaab have been training ADF on how to use improvised explosives. But we will defeat all forms of external aggression.”

The better part of the ADF composition was obliterated in the late 1990s when they attempted to attack Uganda through western Uganda.

They also killed burnt to death students in a dormitory at Kichwamba Technical College in Kabarole District.

The rebel onslaught saw civilians brutally killed at the hands of ADF militia.

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