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M23 Rebels Warn DRC Government Over Resumption Of Bunagana Border

M23 Rebels Warn DRC Government Over Resumption Of Bunagana Border

M23 rebels have issued a warning to the authorities in DRC regarding their announced intentions to resume activities at the Bunagana border. Authorities in North Kivu Province had closed all activities at the Bunagana Border between DR Congo and Uganda’s district of Kisoro.

This happened in June 2022 following intense fighting with DRC’s Armed Forces.

Traffic on the main route linking the province to Uganda had also been suspended. This move came as a way to stop rebels from collecting taxes to fund the war.

However, recent developments saw intentions of the border being reopened due to a period of calmness despite the war being far from over.

This prompted the M23 rebels to warn the authorities in DRC regarding their announced intentions to resume activities at the Bunagana border.

The rebels gained control of the border which lasted until late last year when they withdrew from the area. The Ugandan troops deployed in Rutshuru then took control of activities at the border.

This came as part of the East African Community (EAC) Regional Force. It follows the recommendations of the EAC heads of state summit.

On the contrary, Civil society leaders in the area argued that the rebels only withdrew their uniformed troops. They argued that the rebels in civilian attire continued to man the border.

In a Saturday night statement, Lieutenant General Constant Ndima Kongba announced the government’s intention to resume activities in the area. He asked all relevant stakeholders to prepare for deployment once the order is given.

Shortly after the statement, M23’s political spokesperson, Lawrence Kanyuka stated their own. He described the government’s move as an act of provocation.

“There is a letter signed by North Kivu’s Military Governor, Lieutenant General NDIMA KONGBA Constant, with reference number: 01/102 / CAB / GP-NK / 2023 of July 5th, 2023, circulating on social media addressed to the services of ANR, DGM, DGDA, OCC, PNHF, SQV, SQAH, informing them of the imminent resumption of their activities. The M23 considers any presence of the DRC Government’s agents in our territory as an act of provocation. Such a move will be severely repressed per the clear instructions given to its security services,” Kanyuka said in a statement.

The rebels claim to be fighting against corrupt leadership in the country, citing issues like corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination.

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