Ex-Congo rebel leader miss­ing, gun­fire erupts

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

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.

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