Uganda's government says hundreds of members of a Congolese rebel group have fled a military camp where they had been awaiting amnesty since the signing of a peace deal with Congo's government in 2014.

Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said in statement Thursday that some members of M23, a Tutsi-led rebel group that once controlled vast territory in eastern Congo, "have been quietly escaping into the general public."

Opondo said Ugandan authorities have arrested 101 M23 members who were being ferried in trucks heading for Congo.

Opondo said 270 M23 members are still detained in western Uganda. This means hundreds of the rebels have escaped.

The news of missing M23 fighters is likely to alarm Congo's government, which has repeatedly urged Uganda's government to hold the rebels.