The Ugandan military on Friday said 500 people from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) fled to Uganda over fear of reprisal by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels.
Ronald Kakurungu, spokesperson of airstrike and long-range artillery operation “Tuugo,” told Xinhua that the refugees are trickling into western Ugandan districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko following the ongoing targeted assaults on the ADF bases in DRC’s North Kivu Province.
“It’s not a huge influx of refugees as per say. But some people have ended coming into Uganda for fear. Some of them have ended staying with relatives,” said Kakurungu.
Local media said about 500 people have crossed into the East African country following on Friday’s military attacks on eight ADF camps in North Kivu.
Uganda People’s Defence Forces used fighter jets and long artillery to carry out preemptive attacks on the ADF bases of Madina, Canada, Tadia, Topoke, Makayoba, Camp Richard, Sangote and Kikingi after receiving intelligence information that the rebels were planning to attack the country.
Ugandan military has heavily deployed at the common border with DRC to prevent rebels from infiltrating into the country to revenge the heavy losses they suffered.
“We have properly reinforced the border positions and the forces are on standby to be able to react and eliminate any groups that will try to cross into our side,” said Kakurungu.
The Ugandan assaults came after ADF’s recent attacks in eastern DRC including the Dec. 7 killing of 15 Tanzanian UN peacekeepers and DRC soldiers in North Kivu.