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10,000 DR Congo Refugees Enter Uganda

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VOA News - August 22, 2007

Ugandan army officials say about 10,000 Congolese refugees have entered Uganda in the last two days, fleeing violence in their home areas.

The officials say the refugees fear renewed clashes between Democratic Republic of Congo government forces and fighters loyal to General Laurent Nkunda.

The refugees say villagers in eastern Congo rioted Tuesday while protesting the failure of United Nations peacekeepers to protect them from militias.

In other developments, U.N. peacekeepers in eastern Congo say they have found the bodies of at least six people who were shot dead. The bodies were found in the troubled North Kivu region, near the villages of Katweguru and Kiseguru, where Congolese armed forces had recently been stationed.

U.N. officials say the deaths raise fears that rogue elements of Congo's army are illegally arresting and executing civilians.

Parts of the eastern DRC remain highly unstable more than four years after the end of Congo's civil war. Fighting between militia groups such as Nkunda's often results in civilian casualties.

Many of the Congolese refugees that have fled to Uganda are gathering in that country's Kisoro district.

A spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says the agency is working with the Ugandan government to help provide assistance to the refugees. UNHCR officials say they hope many of the refugees will return to their homes in the coming days.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

 


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