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Uganda hands over more than 60 M23 ex-combatants to DR Congo

More than 60 former M23 fighters have returned home after more than five years of exile in Uganda.
At least 57 ex-combatants and 10 dependents left Entebbe Airport at 10am on Tuesday.

The DR Congo ambassador to Uganda Jean Pierre Massala and Uganda’s Ambassador Special Duties for International Conference for the Great Lakes Region, Robert Masolo presided over the function at Entebbe to see off the former fighters.

“We have been sensitising them that they can’t be exile forever” Mr Masolo said.
The Congolese ambassador however noted that said the ex-combatants voluntarily returned home.
At least 200 ex-combatants are reportedly still in Bihanga camp in Ibanda District in western Uganda.

In 2012, more than 1,000 M23 fighters fled into Uganda after they defeated by a joint force of the UN and DR Congo.
Some have either secretly gone home or officially handed over to the Congolese government by Uganda.
Last month, authorities in DR Congo said about 600 Congolese rebels whose conflict killed several thousand people in the restive Kasai region, had ended their war and surrendered their weapons in a sign of support for new President Felix Tshisekedi.

Tshisekedi was sworn in on January 24 as president of Democratic Republic of Congo, marking the country’s first peaceful handover of power after chaotic and bitterly disputed elections.

The M23 movement, a mainly ethnic Tutsi rebel group, began an uprising in May 2012 in the Kivu region but was eventually defeated by government forces at the end of 2013.’

By Daily Monitor

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