Congolese Military Arrests Two UPDF Soldiers

The Congolese army is holding two Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC. They are private Joseph Okello and Private Michael Kwemoi from Busanza detach under the 35th battalion in Kisoro district. 

The Congolese army-the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) arrested the soldiers on Monday this week from Busigi village, Gitovu Busanza Sub-county in Kisoro District near the border with DR Congo’s grouping of Busanza in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province. 

A security source in Kisoro has disclosed to our reporter that the UPDF soldiers who were dressed in civilian attire were taken to Goma city where they are being detained. Hajji Shafique Ssekandi, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner confirmed the arrest on Thursday morning, saying that DRC is yet to issue an official statement explaining the arrest.  According to Ssekandi, the two soldiers were picked from No Man’s land while walking normally.

FARDC soldiers control the border of Busanza and neighboring areas after losing the nearby and main border of Bunagana in Jomba grouping to the March 23 Movement rebels on June 13, 2022. This followed the renewed fighting between FARDC soldiers and M23 rebels that started in March this year in Rutshuru territory. 

UPDF stepped up its deployment along the border with DR Congo in Kisoro since the fight started to prevent it from spilling to Uganda.  This is the first time Congolose troops are arresting UPDF soldiers since the fighting started in Rutshuru. 

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