Trade at Uganda-DRC border stalls following protests over insecurity

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Ugandan business people are seen at a market with their merchandises for sale at Mpondwe border that separates Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, June 14, 2019.PHOTO/REUTERS
Ugandan business people are seen at a market with their merchandises for sale at Mpondwe border that separates Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, June 14, 2019. PHOTO/REUTERS

Cross-border trade in the Mpondwe-Lhubiriha area at the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border stalled on Wednesday following a strike by Congolese businessmen.

The Congolese businessmen were protesting over increased insecurity following deadly attacks on civilians attributed to the rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Other Congolese traders in the neighbouring area of Kasindi and in Beni in the country’s northeast also shut their businesses as anger mounts against the United Nations, whom they accuse of failing to protect civilians from rebels.

Several traders buy Ugandan goods but they have not crossed the border into Uganda since Saturday in protest over the attacks, according to a local publication, The Daily Monitor.

The Monitor also reported that the spokesperson of the UN mission in the DR Congo (Monusco) said on Tuesday that the situation was calm following deadly protests on Monday.

Mathias Gillmann said that discussions with the military leadership of the DR Congo were still on-going and the mission would remain, within its mandate, to support as much as possible.

On Saturday, the DR Congo army announced that it had killed Mouhamed Mukubwa Islam, one of the top three leaders of the ADF, just hours after 13 people were killed in the region.

Militia violence in the DR Congo’s northeast region has spiked in recent months, killing scores of people and forcing thousands to flee their homes.

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