Uganda had by Sunday withdrawn 1,650 troops from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, army spokesman Maj. Shaban Bantariza told IRIN on Monday. The first group was flown out on Friday. “Only military equipment and those guarding them are still to come by air,” he said. The remaining troops, he said, were walking back to Uganda from southeast of Bunia, a three-week journey that would take about three weeks for some. Military officials, including Defence Minister Amama Mbabazi, welcomed the troops who arrived at Entebbe Air Base on Friday. Referring to Kampala’s assertion that Ugandan dissidents were active in eastern DRC he said: “The mission in Congo was to defeat terrorists wanting to destablise us. Uganda will not stand idly by while our people are being threatened from the Congo.” The soldiers – with their light weapons and munitions – were flown from Bunia’s tiny airport, the principal town in Ituri District, aboard four Antonov transport aircraft. Some of them had not seen their families in Uganda in five years. Full Story
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