The Government of Uganda has repatriated 10 former fighters of M23 back to DR Congo, a country they fought since April 2012, who were staying at Bihanga military training school in Ibanda district, The new vision repports.
The 10 are part of hundreds of M23 rebels under the UPDF protection who escaped the battlefield in DR Congo between 2015 and 2016.
The rebels have since been staying at Bihanga military training school in Ibanda district. They were officially handed over to Ambassador Jean Pierre Massala, the head of mission in DR Congo at UPDF Second Division headquarters in Mbarara.
Massala likened the former rebels to prodigal sons who he said will be received into their country with dignity.
He also assured them of reintegration into society, saying those willing to join the FARDC army would be welcome and called upon other Congolese nationals to go back home and develop their country.
Col. Fred Karara, the deputy division commander, said six of the former rebels repatriated, had escaped from Bihanga and went back to fight in DRC where they were repulsed and were arrested when they came back to Uganda. He said they were charged with illegal entry and sentenced to six months jail time at Ndorwa prison in Kabale district and that after serving their sentence, they applied for voluntary repatriation.
Kisoro residents district commissioner, Shafiq Sekandi advised the former rebels to co-operate with their government to foster peace and development.
The first category of rebels repatriated includes fighters who had escaped from Bihanga military training school and these are:
Lt Col. Alphonse Mashango Ngabo,
Cpl. Nzeimana John Paul, Lance
Cpl Munyankusi Derrick,
Pt. Rukundo Vicent,
Pt. Kubwami Rodgers and
Pt. Nkurunziza Jimmy.
The second group which applied for repatriation include:
Capt. Franc Javes Baguma,
Capt.John Bosco Mugisha, and
Lt. Eugene Habimana Kiwasi.