Kampala - A spokesperson for the United Nations refugee
agency in Uganda says hundreds of Congolese are fleeing into Uganda to avoid
being forcibly conscripted into the ranks of the rebel group M23.
Lucy Beck of UNHCR said on Wednesday that more than 250
Congolese villagers crossed into Uganda on Tuesday alone, joining at least 1 000
more who fled in recent days.
She said the situation is "uncertain", with the
agency stocking up on supplies in anticipation of more arrivals.
M23, the most prominent rebel group in eastern DRC, has been
talking up its readiness to defend itself against an offensive brigade of the
UN peacekeepers set to be deployed there. According to Beck, the refugees are
"fleeing M23 preparations".
Peace talks between the rebels and the Congolese government
have hit a dead end.