Bundibugyo Residents Ask Gov't to Relocate Them in Wake of Attacks on ADF

Residents especially those in Bundingoma Sub County where UPDF camped on Tuesday say that due to the sound of heavy artillery some fled their homes and others developed health complications due to fear.
Shared picture of a UPDF armored vehicle in Eastern DRC on Wednesday

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Communities living near the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC border in Bundibugyo District have asked the government to relocate them during military operations across the border.

The call comes after UPDF, in a joint operation with DRC forces, launched a series of strikes against the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF bases in neighbouring Congo, on Tuesday.

Residents especially those in Bundingoma Sub County where UPDF camped on Tuesday say the sound of heavy artillery left some flee out of their homes and others developed health complications due to fear.

In Mpondwe, Kasese District local traders say that since Tuesday there has been low movement at the border for fear of being caught in the crossfire.

Harriet Katusabe a resident of Bundinamandi II says when the strikes went off on Tuesday, she developed a heart attack and was admitted. She wants the government to relocate residents surrounding Bundingoma Sub County to safer places until the joint operations stop.

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Margret Kabasomi a resident of Bundikaleba village in Bundigoma sub-county says they are leaving in fear of any possible retaliation from ADF groups.    Kabasomi wants security in the District to be heightened in the area to ensure that they are protected from any possible attacks by the militants.    

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Julius Baturughemu, a resident of Bundigoma sub-county says businesses in the area has been disrupted because they have to close earlier for fear of gunfire. He says that when such a military operation is conducted, the safety of the people should be considered.

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Esther Mbubu operating a Forex Bureau in Lhubiriha Town says there is a need for thorough surveillance and patrols to prevent any wrong elements from penetrating the country.

She also agrees that people need information when such raids are to be carried out so that they can be on alert.

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John Chance the chairperson of LCI Katumba Village in Bundingoma says several residents abandoned their homes on Tuesday when they heard the sound of heavy artillery.

He says it was unfortunate that even local leaders had not been briefed about this operation.     

Both the Bundibugyo RDC Asiimwe Amos Banji and his counterpart in Kasese Lt. Joe Walusimbi are calling for calmness among residents arguing that security is in control.

However, they call for vigilance among residents.

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