Hundreds flee to Uganda amid fighting in eastern Congo

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — The Uganda Red Cross says it is responding to a heavy influx of people fleeing fighting in a remote area of eastern Congo.

The group said Monday it deployed a team to assess needs among people fleeing the fighting overnight between unknown armed groups. Spokeswoman Irene Nakasiita said hundreds are camping at the border post of Bunagana, seeking shelter in Uganda.

Ugandan authorities didn’t immediately comment. The East African country is home to 1.3 million refugees who fled violence in neighboring countries such as South Sudan.

Eastern Congo is prone to outbreaks of ethnic conflict as well as fighting between rival armed groups, including rebels opposed to the government in the capital, Kinshasa. In recent years an armed group with roots in Uganda has been blamed for a series of attacks on civilians in the region.

In a security alert Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Congo noted “reports of a potential attack in Goma,” the capital of North Kivu province. “There is increased security presence throughout the city,” the advisory said, adding that U.S. government personnel in the area were advised to shelter in place.

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