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Congo Refugees Decline To Make Their Home Return

Congo Refugees Decline To Make Their Home Return

During the capture of the Bunagana border town on June 13 by the M23 rebel group, about 10,000 Congo refugees fled to Kisoro District.

However, they are not refusing to make their return home citing the unsafe environment back where they came from. The Congo refugees are from Rutshuru, Busanza, Jomba, Gisigari, Tongo, Bunagana, and Masisi areas, all in North Kivu.

“I cannot return home knowing that the government soldiers and the security team from East African countries will soon flash out M23 rebels from the places they captured. We relied on M23 as a strong force but in 2013, they were overpowered and left us in misery”. Mr Juma Kumwami, a refugee, said on Monday.

When they contacted him, the M23 rebel spokesperson, Maj Willy Ngoma wasn’t available for a comment. Regardless of that though, he reveals last week that the Congolese refugees were free to return to the area. This is because they had secured the town.

Mr. Shafiq Sekandi, the RDC in Kisoro said that in the last three days there had been no fighting in Bunagana on the Congo side.

“Some of the Congolese refugees that were seen crossing back to Uganda. They claimed that since the administrative structures were set up by M23 rebels in their home areas, taxing residents and looting their properties has become the norm,” Mr Sekandi said.

Apparently, social problems have begun to rise because of the institution causing a rise in the crime rate. The LC3 chairman of Bunagana Town Council, Mr Ismail Ndayambaje, said a disease outbreak is likely to occur very soon.

He attributed this to congestion and poor sanitation. Mr. Ndayambaje urged the government to provide special grants to the town council to enable them manage the refugee crisis.

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