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More Congolese refugees enter Uganda following fresh fighting in North Kivu

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More Congolese refugees enter Uganda following fresh fighting in North Kivu

Resumed fighting between M23 rebels and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) soldiers in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province has forced a total of 304 refugees to cross into Uganda through the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border of Bunagana.  

The refugees entered the country on Monday following the fighting.

According to the Resident District Commissioner Kisoro Hajji Shafique Ssekandi Ssengoba, the refugees were received by security personnel manning the border and handed over to United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) officials.

Ssengoba adds that currently, 17,851 refugees are still at Nyakabande the transit camp, but that authorities are worried after a case of Covid-19 was recorded among the refugees.

On Tuesday, FARDC said that two of their soldiers were injured after they fell in an ambush by M23 rebels in Muhati while on a domination patrol in the region of the Kisigari group in Rutshuru territory between Virunga National Park.

According to Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Njike Kaiko the spokesperson for the Sokola 2/North Kivu operational sector, while rebels fired bullets several times, the FARDC did not respond because they did not want to violate the recommendations of the Nairobi conclave.  
The accusations were however strongly rejected by Major Willy Ngoma, spokesperson of the M23 rebels, who instead says army attacked the M23, which only responded to the provocation. 

 According to Ngoma, the M23 occupies the hills of Chanzu and Runyonyi to protect its rear base of Mount Sabinyo.
The FARDC controls the Bugusa position, about ten kilometers north of the M23 positions.   The fighting between M23 rebels and FARDC that started on March 28 has left more than 40,000 people displaced with over 20,000 crossing to Uganda and others in Rutshuru.  

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