What you need to know:
- The government has been urged to provide relief to about 8,000 people who have been displaced following attacks on Ntoroko District by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels.
- The district chairperson, Mr William Kasoro, said in Bweramule Sub-county, which was attacked by the rebels, about 7,000 people have been displaced while another 1,000 are from neighbouring Butungama Sub-county and Kibuuku Town Council.
The army has captured seven more suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in Kyobe, Bweramule Sub-county in Ntoroko District.
In an interview with this publication yesterday, the commander of 8th Battalion, Lt Col Saul Nabimanya, said they first captured three rebels, who emerged from their hideout to steal food from deserted homes.
He said the trio, who pleaded not to be shot dead by Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers after being captured, revealed the whereabouts of four of their colleagues who were still in hiding.
“The seven ADF rebels we captured alive on Tuesday, six were female and one male. We found them with one gun and other properties, none of them tried to fight us,” he said.
Lt Col Nabimanya said those captured are between the ages of 12 and 14 years. He said the operation is still ongoing.
The total number of ADF rebels captured alive since December 13 have increased from 15 to 22. Also, 22 guns have been recovered and 26 ADF rebels have been shot dead. On December 13, the rebels also killed three locals, one UPDF soldier, injured two. Fighting between rebels and UPDF soldiers displaced 8,000 people.
Of the three locals killed, one was a resident of Majumba Village in Rwebisengo Town Council while the other two were Congolese nationals employed as casual workers in Rwamabale Parish.
At around 9pm on December 25, the UPDF soldiers also intercepted ADF rebels and killed three while others ran away.
Mr Benjamin Bachwa, a resident of Kyobe Village, said: “The three suspected rebels who were not armed, intercepted one of our residents in Kyobe. He was heading to Kayaja Trading Centre but he did not know that they were rebels, although he was suspicious. They went together up to the trading centre where they found UPDF soldiers, confessed and surrendered,” he said.
The trio led the soldiers and residents to where their colleagues were hiding and they were also captured.
“The rebels told us they were also recruited by ADF rebels in DR Congo about four years ago and that they crossed to Uganda with other ADF rebels on December 13. After they entered Ntoroko District, they were divided into different groups,” he added.
Mr Robert Kasagaki, a resident, said they now feel safer following their arrest and killing of some of the ADF rebels.
“People have now started coming back home, we appeal to the security to continue the operation,” he said.