Capt. Peter Mugisha, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner has given an ultimatum of two days to refugees from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who have been staying in Kisoro district, to pack their belongings and head back home if they are unable to relocate to an established refugee settlement camp.
Capt. Mugisha says he will not allow refugees with unknown intentions to loiter in the district.
Several dozen refugees have been staying in Bunagana Town Council, a small town near the DRC border, and others in Kisoro town where they have been living with their families.
Many of the refugees are engaged in income generating projects like trade, masonry among others.
Some of the refugees have in the past months pleaded with the RDC and other district leaders to allow them more time to organize their families and finish up what they have been doing.
But the RDC says the group has been given enough time.
According to reports, there has been simmering speculations that some of the refugees are former members of the Congolese rebel group M23, which could have spooked the district leadership
In an interview with ChimpReports however, RDC Mugisha said he was certain that these were just refugees and not former combatants.
“What I know is that those Congolese you see are refugees but not former M23 combatants as it has been alleged by some people. We have investigated and proved that,” said.
He added however that this group is not supposed to live together with Ugandan nationals because of their status.
Two years ago, Kisoro district was thrown into chaos after 17 guns belonging to the M23 group were busted by security in the district being sneaked into DRC.
The then RDC Shaffiq Ssekandi said he had learnt from intelligence that many M23 combatants were disguising as refugees, sneaking into Uganda to commit crimes and then crossing back to DRC.