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UPDF Heavily Deploys in West Nile as Kigali Backed militia wreak Havoc near Uganda Border

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Uganda Peoples Defense Forces has heavily deployed in West Nile districts bordering Democratic Republic of Congo after rebels intensified attacks in Ituri Province.

A security source says the deployment is aimed at averting similar attacks on Ugandan positions in Zombo by Lendu militias of Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) which happened in March 2020.

CODECO is an armed group that has been carrying out attacks in the DRC province of Ituri.

CODECO is drawn from the Lendu ethnic group, a predominantly farming community who has historically clashed with the Hema, a group of traders and herders.

Since March, CODECO members are said to have killed over 300 people in Ituri province.

Earlier this month, members of CODECO were seen entering Bunia, the capital city of Ituri Province in the DR.Congo being escorted by the government forces as they entered Bunia.

Security says the act by FARDC meant that there is definite collusion between DRC government forces and the rebels.

Uganda nets Ituri Rebel Funding Network

On August 21, 2020, Ugandan security forces arrested a group of individuals from Ituri after illegally crossing the border through the Semuliki River.

Evidence recovered is a confirmation is that Kigali has deployed all the necessary means in eastern DR Congo and Ituri in particular in its efforts of Balkanizing the country.

 The Congolese suspects who fell into Ugandan security forces were all Ituri residents who are part of the network which observers say are manipulated by Kigali security officials to exterminate their own brothers hiding under CODECO militias, FPIC and ADF.

The suspects arrested included Ibrahim Bamaraki, President of the Hema community, Kisembo Bitamara, former South Bahema community leader, and principal adviser to Mr. Bamaraki, Kaswara Pele all under the leadership of the Hema cultural association named ′′ ENTE and a one Ndukukwa aka Brown who was their driver.

Ibrahim Bamaraki and his team had sneaked into Uganda after bribing some security officials manning Karugutu border post because Ugandan borders were still closed due to COVID 19 lockdown.

The group then progressed using their vehicle heading to Fort Portal town in Kabarole district where they were nabbed by security patrol while enforcing night curfew.

After arrest, security searched their car and recovered a bag full of Rwandan francs.

Rwandan Franc is not known nor used in eastern DR Congo unlike Ugandan shilling which is used as a common currency throughout the Congolese border region with Uganda.

Rwandan Francs is also not known in Uganda as a medium of foreign exchange.

Sources say it was through Ibrahim Bamaraki that the Bira community in Irumu Territory was mobilized to form CHINI YA KILIMA militias.

“The money that helped create this militia came from Kigali as well as Rwandan military instructors who had to train the young Bira recruited, still under the facilitation of Bamaraki, who is highly respected in Bunia as a notable community”.

It is reported that the money intercepted on 21 August 2020 was meant to finance criminal activities in Uganda most especially at the time when the country is going for general elections in 2021.

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