Saturday, 5 January 2013
UNCERTAINTIES AS UGANDANS ARE KILLED IN DRC.
There is uncertainty over plans to retrieve the bodies of Ugandans allegedly shot dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo on New Year’s Day.
Five people were reportedly buried in a mass grave after they were killed by Congolese army in Ihungu area near Kasindi town in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Most of them are said to be Ugandans.
A source at the Congolese border with Uganda says the victims were found with guns and wearing a military attire which made the army suspicious of their mission.
Notable among the dead is Mr. Deogracious Kyoghero who has been a teacher at Bwera secondary school in Kasese district. He also served for one year as deputy minister for local administration in charge of documentation in the Rwenzururu Kingdom.
The rest of the team is yet to be identified but it is reported they all had Congolese identifications.
Kasese district Chairman LC V Lt. Col.Mawa Muhindo says it is “uncertain” that the bodies of these people can be retrieved from the DRC to be accorded a decent burial because of the diplomatic issues around their death.
Lt. Col. Mawa who has been very close to the Congolese army commanders following his active service in the army a few years back on January 3, 2013 tried to intervene on receiving the news that people from Kasese have been killed in DRC.
It is reported, upon killing the team, they were found with fire arms and clad in military attire of an unidentified force and with Congolese citizen’s identity cards.
“It is uncertain that we as Ugandans authorities can convince the Congolese government to exhume the bodies and bury them in Uganda. Their mission is not known at all and no one can tell what they went to do in DRC, therefore any attempts can cause diplomatic tensions”. Lt. Col. Mawa said.
There are allegations in the DRC that the group might have been on a criminal mission or trying to join negative forces fighting the government of President Joseph Kabila.
There are quite a number of militia groups fighting the Congolese government from the eastern part most especially the Mai Mai that has routes in the Ituri region. Also the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces have continuously announced that remnants of the Allied Democratic Forces have been regrouping in the DRC with an aim of re-attacking Uganda.
The UPDF is yet to make a statement on the matter with the 305 brigade spokesperson Lt. Ninsiima Rwemizuma saying the “information is still scanty at the moment”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kyoghero’s family in Kitholhu sub-county that neighbors the DRC on Saturday held funeral rights in honour of their fallen son.
A family elder Mr. Simon Baluku said that the family had nothing to do but to hold prayers and funeral rights because it was already confirmed their son died in “unknown circumstances”.