Trucks stuck at Uganda-DR Congo border amid fighting

Hundreds of cargo trucks are stuck on the Ugandan side of Ishasha border crossing, as fighting intensifies in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sostine Buregyeya, a local leader and businessman in Ishasha, told the BBC that some of the trucks had been stuck at the border for three weeks for fear of insecurity in DR Congo.

Ugandan exports to the DR Congo are valued at over $300m (£252m) and Ishasha is one of the main crossings between the two countries.

“We used to go to the [DR Congo] twice a month, but now there is no business,” Geoffrey Opiyo, a Ugandan fish exporter told the BBC.

Mr Opiyo said that he was forced to sell some of his dried fish cargo locally at throw away prices and is still stuck with some 40 tonnes in a store at the border.

He brought the cargo to the border in late October after sourcing it from Uganda’s Lake Kyoga in the east, .

“Some of the trucks which had already crossed have returned to Uganda,” Mr Opiyo added.

Fighting between the Congolese government and the M23 rebels has intensified in recent weeks, with the rebels capturing more territory.

The M23 are said to be advancing on several fronts and have been sighted about 35km (22 miles) from Ishasha border.

The rebels have also been advancing towards the strategic city of Goma.

The fighting has displaced thousands of people in the region.

Efforts to bring peace to eastern DR Congo are being championed by East African Community leaders, as well as Angolan President João Lourenço, who is hosting a summit in the capital, Luanda, on Wednesday.

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