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UPDATED: 16:55, December 02, 2004
Uganda deploys troops along on Congo border
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The Ugandan army has deployed an unspecified number of troops along the country's border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to prevent incursions by "negative elements" based there, local press reported on Thursday.

Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) spokesman Major Shaban Bantariza told press on Wednesday that "We have made a precautionary deployment along the border on our side especially in areas we think are possible crossing points for some negative elements based in eastern DRC."

Bantariza was referring to Ugandan rebel groups allegedly based in eastern Congo.

Uganda claims that a new rebel group, the People's Redemption Army (PRA), allegedly founded by renegade Ugandan army officers, was preparing to attack Uganda from eastern Congo.

The United Nations Mission in the DRC (MONUC) said Wednesday they had seen 100 troops, apparently from Rwanda, in eastern Congo.

Kigali has insisted it will take it upon itself to neutralize extremist Hutu fighters there because the UN and the DRC army has proved unable to disarm them, but on Wednesday refused to either confirm or deny a military presence across the border.

On Tuesday, Jean Louis Ernest Kyaviro, secretary general of a former DRC rebel group, said two brigades of Rwandan troops crossed the border several days ago near Rutshuru and Lubero, which lie 60 and 250 km north of the border town of Goma respectively.

Goma was the headquarters of another rebel group which Rwanda backed militarily and politically during the DRC's devastating 1998-2003 war.

Congolese President Joseph Kabila announced on Tuesday he was sending 10,000 soldiers to the eastern part of the country to maintain security.

Last week, Ugandan and Rwanda expelled each other's diplomats accredited to either country for alleged espionage after the Ugandan army paraded captives that it claims were PRA members arrested in northwestern Uganda.

Source: Xinhua

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