Monday, 7 January 2013

Ugandans feared dead in DR Congo

News updated at E-Society Kasese

Security agencies in Kasese are investigating reports that four Ugandans were allegedly shot dead in DR Congo on New Year’s Day and buried in a mass grave.

It is alleged that the four were murdered by an armed group in Kasindi Village in eastern DRC near Mpondwe border post.

Notable among those suspected to have been killed is Deogratius Kyoghero, a teacher at Bwera Secondary School in Kasese District.
Kyoghero is a former deputy minister for local administration in charge of documentation in the Rwenzururu Kingdom.

The Kasese District Chairman, Lt. Col. Mawa Muhindo, said it is uncertain whether the bodies of the victims can be retrieved from DRC for a decent burial in Uganda because of the diplomatic issues around their death.
“It is uncertain that we as Ugandan authorities can convince the Congolese government to exhume the bodies and bury them in Uganda. Their mission is not known at all and no one can tell what they went to do in DRC,” he said.

Lt. Col. Muhindo said his office received reports about the incident on January 3, with allegations that the deceased were found with fire arms, dressed in military attire and allegedly had Congolese identity cards.
This newspaper could, however, not independently confirm these reports by press time.

Lt. Col. Muhindo said there are allegations that the group might have been on a criminal mission or trying to join negative forces fighting the government of President Joseph Kabila.

There are many militia groups fighting the Congolese government in the war-ravaged eastern DRC.

The UPDF has continuously announced that remnants of the Allied Democratic Forces rebels have been regrouping in the DRC with the aim of re-attacking Uganda.

The UPDF’s 305 Brigade spokesperson, Lt. Ninsiima Rwemizuma, said information about the incident was “still scanty at the moment”.
Mr Kyoghero’s family in Kitholhu, a sub-county that lies on the Uganda-DRC border, on Saturday held funeral rites in honour of their fallen son.
A family elder, Mr Simon Baluku, said the family had nothing to do but to hold prayers and funeral rites because it was already confirmed that their son died under unknown circumstances.

The 23rd Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Yiga Sejabi, said Kyoghero was dead.

Lt. Col. Sejabi said security personnel in Uganda are doing all it takes to retrieve his body from DRC where it was buried but added the mission is not yet successful.
He said intelligence reports reveal that the victim was linked to Allied Democratic Forces rebels who have been regrouping in Congo.