Uganda Enhances Border Security Amid Escalating Conflict in Eastern DRC

In response to the escalating conflict in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has intensified its security measures along the Uganda-DRC border. Brigadier General Felix Kulayigye, the spokesperson for the UPDF, highlighted the increased military presence aimed at closely monitoring the security situation as the conflict continues to drive a rising number of refugees into Uganda.

Brigadier General Kulayigye expressed concern over the impact of the conflict on neighboring countries, both economically and in terms of human welfare. “When one country experiences conflict, it inevitably affects its neighbors. We are witnessing an influx of people crossing into Uganda from the DRC, but the UPDF is vigilant. We are committed to ensuring the security of our border area, despite the ongoing events in the DRC,” he stated.

This security alertness is echoed by Major Bilal Katamba, the spokesperson of the Mountain Division of the UPDF and for Operation Shujaa, a mission targeting the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in eastern DRC. The UPDF’s vigilance has been heightened due to recent incursions by the ADF into Ugandan territory. “The ADF has begun crossing into Uganda, causing destruction. Our state of alertness is at its peak, remembering their previous attacks on our people,” Major Katamba explained.

He also noted the challenges in managing the refugee influx from the DRC, emphasizing the importance of rigorous screening to prevent ADF rebels from entering Uganda under the guise of refugees. “With the expected arrival of refugees, there’s a risk of harboring bad elements. Therefore, all security agencies are fully alert to mitigate such risks,” Major Katamba added.

The Ugandan Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hillary Onek, affirmed that the ongoing conflict in the DRC is likely to increase the number of Congolese refugees in Uganda.