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UPDF: Congolese refugees return home from exile 

(Last Updated On: 15 May 2023)

North Kivu, May 15, 2023: Hundreds of Congolese asylum seekers, mostly women, children and the elderly crossed back to their home country in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

They crossed through Uganda-Bunagana and Busanza border posts after eighteen months in exile in Uganda following the war that broke out between the March23 Movement (M23) and the DRC government Military Forces (FARDC). 

The war between the two forces broke out in March 2022 and July of, the same year in Rutshuru territory which forced thousands of Congolese civil populace to flee for safety into Uganda for fear of their lives.

The refugees, according to the UPDF had camped in the Nakivale Refugee settlement facility for eighteen months.

They told the UPDF that they are happy to be back home because of the presence of the Uganda Contingent Forces deployed for a peacekeeping mission under the East Africa Regional Forces.

The regional forces are meant to oversee the peace process and normalcy in Rutshuru territory. 

Quoting the UPDF, some refugees said that Uganda Peoples Defence Forces Contingent operating under the EACRF has given them the confidence to return home as calmness and relative peace has been registered with no fighting, insecurity or any violations of the peace agreement in areas under their responsibility.  

Mzee Ngoy Abraham and his wife Jemima Congo expressed excitement and joy for returning home and reuniting with his family and friends to start a new life. 


“He said that the situation was unbearable during the war and that he could not bear the pain and fear. According to Captain Kato Ahmad Hassan, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces Contingent.”

The Spokesperson in DRC said that 309 refugees crossed into DRC from Bunagana and Busanza border posts and settled in their respective villages. 

“We welcome them back home. Rutshuru territory is relatively calm and peaceful. We call upon those who are still in refuge to come back home.”

Most of the returnees were received by their friends and families in the villages of Tshengerero in Bunagana, Kahunga, and Rutshuru and as far as Mabenga and Kinyandoni general areas.

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