Ex-Congo rebel leader missing, gunfire erupts
Congo has stepped up army patrols in its volatile east after the former military chief of a once-powerful rebel group vanished from a camp for demobilised fighters in neighbouring Uganda and gunfire erupted outside an important border town.
Julien Paluku, governor of Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province, said Ugandan authorities no longer knew the whereabouts of Sultani Makenga, who was the military chief of the M23 rebellion.
“We were in contact with the Ugandan intelligence services who confirmed that, since Friday, ex-Colonel Makenga may have fled and the Ugandan services have not been able to locate him,” Paluku told Reuters on Saturday.
An official with M23’s political wing declined to comment and referred questions about Makenga to the Ugandan authorities. A Ugandan army spokesman said he did not know whether Makenga had disappeared but would seek to confirm his whereabouts. A Congolese customs official in Bunagana said gunfire had erupted overnight in the hills around the town.