By Alfred Wasike
SIX Congolese rebels who have been misusing the hospitality accorded to them in Uganda to wage war against their neighbouring motherland, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), were yesterday declared persona non grata and thrown out of Uganda.
The culprits, who were not shown to the media, were identified as Bwambale Kakolere, Dido Manyiroha, Ndodjolo Cui, Mbuna Dieudone, Jean Pierre Sambidhu and Justin Lobho.
The Government gave the rebels 48 hours from 1600 hours (4:00pm local time) yesterday to leave Uganda or face arrest and prosecution.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, told a news conference in his office in Kampala that the six were part of 14 rebels who came to Uganda between June 12 and 16, 2005.
Rugunda said their eight colleagues left Uganda for an unknown destination.
Others present at the press conference were the internal affairs ministry permanent secretary, Dr. Kagoda and the Ministry of Defence deputy spokesperson, Major Felix Kulaije.
Rugunda said, â€œThe presence of these six Congolese in Uganda has become of concern to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the international community.
In a meeting held on August 10, 2005 between President Yoweri Museveni and the DRC Vice-President Azarius Ruberwa, the latter made strong presentations that the six had declared war against the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and presented documentary evidence to support that claim.â€
Rugunda said, â€œEarlier on, a group of diplomats accredited to Uganda and officials of the UN Mission in Congo (MONUC) had expressed concern over the groupâ€™s presence in Uganda.
â€œWhereas this group denies the accusations, because of the Government of Ugandaâ€™s support for the peaceful pacification of the DRC and the transitional process, and to avoid any threats of war or violence emanating from Uganda against the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Government of Uganda decided to declare the six Congolese named above persona non grata,â€ he said.
Rugunda said the diplomats who had expressed concern over this group, together with MONUC, had been duly informed of the decision to expel the six rebels.