40 M23 Rebels Charged in Kabale Magistrates Court

Kabale Chief Magistrate Moses Kagoda Ntende on Friday remanded 40 M23 rebels on charges of illegal entry into Uganda and illegal possession of fire arms while on Ugandan soil.

Prosecution led by Batson Baguma told court that on Feb 22, information pills while at Busanza border town, Capt. John Rutamu, Capt. Eric Izah together with other 38 former M23 rebels were found on Ugandan land without lawful travel documents and had five SMG riffles, one PK riffle and 160 rounds of ammunition.

The accused persons pleaded guilty to the offence but claimed they never knew that they had crossed into Uganda.

Kagoda Ntende remanded them till April 5 for hearing of their case.

Capt. Arthur King Timbaganya, the UPDF Second Division Spokesman said the army arrested the M23 rebels and they were advised by the Attorney General to have them tried in the civil court because they are not Ugandans.

He said that the charged M23 rebels included 18 officers with ranks from Captain to Lieutenant and the rest had lower ranks of sergeant and corporal.

The M23 combatants in court
The M23 combatants in court

“We opted to charge the arrested M23 rebels in the civil courts not the Court Martial because they are not Ugandans and the laws of the Court Martial do not apply to them. 38of them escaped from Bihanga army barracks while two of them joined on the way,” Timbaganya said.

Meanwhile, 9 M23 rebels were on Feb 22 charged in the Kisoro Grade one magistrates court where they pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 2-years imprisonment and an order for deportation immediately after serving their sentence.

Darius Nandinda, the Kabale RDC addressed the M23 rebels before they were charged in the chief magistrates court and advised them to denounce rebellion after completing the court process and join their families in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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