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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 2007, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Congo refugees return from Uganda
Brig Gen Laurent Nkunda
The refugees say they are fleeing Gen Nkunda militia
Most of the 10,000 people who fled into Uganda from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday have now gone home, says the UN refugee agency.

A UNHCR spokeswoman said 1,500 remained in a Ugandan town close to the border.

The refugees say they fled into Uganda after a crowd stoned UN peacekeepers investigating an attack on two Congolese intelligence officers.

Observers believe the incident, in which the UN fired into the air, was orchestrated by a dissident general.

Nkunda's role

Army General Laurent Nkunda has been leading a rebellion in the east against the government.

An ethnic Tutsi, he has in the past been supported by Rwanda and is blamed for much of the instability in the east in recent years.

He says they are protecting the Banyamulenge - ethnic Tutsis who live in DR Congo from Rwandan rebels, some of whom are suspected to have participated in Rwanda´s 1994 genocide.

The BBC's Sarah Grainger in Goma says that an attempt to integrate some of General Nkunda´s troops into Congo´s national army earlier this year is widely believed to have backfired.

He now not only commands his own dissident forces, but also has control over those brigades of the national army into which his former troops were placed, our reporter says.

Uganda already hosts about 29,000 refugees from eastern DR Congo which remains unstable, despite polls last year that marked the end of a civil war.

The UN has provided assistance to more than 15,000 Congolese who have fled from North Kivu to Uganda over the last two years.


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