Uganda has began sending home more than 1,000 fighters of a rebel group from Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) on Tuesday after Kinshasa mounted pressure it to return them to prevent them regrouping to fight again. Reuters report:
Some 1,430 fighters are believed to have fled into Uganda after Congolese and U.N. forces quashed their rebellion in eastern DRC in 2013. Most live in military-run camps awaiting amnesties promised under a peace deal.
Kinshasa has been pressing Uganda and Rwanda to repatriate the fighters, fearing they could start another rebellion in its troubled eastern region.
Congo has come under international pressure to speed up implementing the peace deal, which grants an amnesty for former rebels who promise not to take part in any future insurrections. It does not apply to those wanted for war crimes.
“The first batch of 120 fighters from those willing to go back home will be flying out today,” said Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for the Ugandan military. Ankunda said several fighters had refused to return home and escaped from a military encampment in western Uganda to a U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camp in the same region.