Residents of the two neigbouring border districts of Ntoroko and Bundibugyo have welcomed the deployment of Ugandan troops to DR Congo to flush out ADF rebels.
The locals say the UPDF presence in Congo will guarantee the safety of their lives and property.
Uganda launched air and artillery strikes against ADF rebels in DR Congo on Tuesday. It is reported that large numbers of Ugandan soldiers who walked on foot and a column of armoured vehicles entered the DR Congo through Nobili border post into North Kivu Province.
When this reporter visited the Ugandan-DR Congo border at Lamia in Bundibugyo, there was heavy deployment of security forces.
Trucks carrying UPDF soldiers were seen deployed at strategic points at lamia in Busunga Town Council guarding the border points.
Residents yesterday said they now feel secure after the deployment.
Ms Consolato Nanjara, 68, a resident of Basongora Village, said: “When we heard the gunshots being targeted at the rebels, we knew we had been attacked. The news that it was the UPDF’s offensive against ADF brought us relieve.”
Mr Tito Burawule, a resident of Busunga Town Council, said the sight of UPDF soldiers waving to residents as they headed to DR Congo excited them.
Ms Daphne Katusabe, a resident of Karugutu Town Council in Ntoroko, is optimistic the ADF will be defeated.
Mr John Chance, the chairperson of Katumba Village in Bundingoma Sub-county, Bundibugyo, however, advised security forces to first alert locals ahead of such operations.
He said many people were traumatised by the gunshots.
By Wednesday evening, people were going about with their businesses normally. Some of the UPDF soldiers were also seen camping at Bubandi Primary School in Bubandi Sub-county and Bundingoma Primary School in Bundingoma Sub-county.
The Resident District Commissioner of Bundibugyo, Mr Amos Asiimwe, said they recently carried out a joint security operation and arrested 14 suspected ADF militans who were posing as refugees in Bubukwanga Transit Camp. At the beginning of last month, 10 suspected ADF militans were arrested in Ntoroko. On November 17, another four suspected ADF rebels were shot dead near Kisenge Trading Centre in Ntoroko.