Gunfire claims three lives at DRC border
Posted Thursday, February 21 2013 at 02:00
Security sources on the Ugandan side say the incident involved a demonstration by bodaboda cyclists in DR Congo.
Gunfire broke out yesterday morning at Lhubiriha Market in Mpondwe, the DR Congo-Uganda border in Kasese District claiming three lives. Panic ensued as residents mistook the incident for a rebel attack.
Security sources on the Ugandan side confirmed the incident but said the gunfire did not spill over to the country. “It is true there has been shooting this morning along the border in DR Congo. We are told that Congolese bodaboda riders were demonstrating against the death of their colleague who is said to have been shot dead in the previous night by unknown gunmen,” security sources, who preferred anonymity, said.
They said DR Congo security personnel had to fire bullets for almost three hours to calm down the demonstrators, adding that they could not be quoted on security issues that happen in the neighbouring country.
“Our intelligence is on the ground to find out what could have happened since it may affect the security of our people along the border, especially those who are engaged in border trade,” the sources said.
A resident at Kasindi Market in the DR Congo said two other people were also shot dead in the scuffle between the Congolese security personnel and the demonstrators.
However, the UPDF 2nd Division spokesperson, Lt. Ninsiima Rwemijuma, said people should not panic, dismissing fears that it was a rebel attack. Lt. Ninsiima accused local politicians of spreading rumors that the shooting was a rebel attack.
Mr Wilson Agaba, the LC 3 chairperson for Isango, one of the sub-counties on the border, said life on the Ugandan side had returned to normal by 10 am. Efforts to get a comment from DR congo authorities were futile as the situation was still tense on their side.