The armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo have announced that they are reinforcing their positions on the Beni-Kasindi highway in North Kivu to forestall attacks by Ugandan rebels of the Allied Democratic Force (ADF) against civilians and traders along the road.
General Peter Cirimwami, Commander of Operations Sokola 1, in a press statement on Wednesday, April 27, revealed that the ADF attacks had resulted in the deaths of 15 civilians along the Beni-Kasidi stretch of the road since March this year.
Cirimwami said with the reinforcement of the military presence on the highway, ADF attacks would be eradicated.
“We have installed fixed positions. We are staking the road with a truck which is prepositioned for rapid interventions. For now, the road users have no reason to fear,” the Army commander declared.
This new disposition follows a military operation dubbed “Zero Incident” on the Beni-Kasidi road.
The operation which lasted 20 days ended last Saturday, April 24, with drivers and road users already expressing their satisfaction with the move.
“When you leave just the area where the enemy has always attacked, there are so many military positions in place to ensure the security of road users. For us, that is a positive point. We no longer discourage road users from passing through this road because the military posts in place reassure us that there is security,” explains Kambale Bashimbe, President of the Beni association of drivers.
“The army would have our support in the staking of the road and we are going to plead with our partners to help us in clearing the bushes along the road.”
The Beni-Kasindi road has always been the theatre of ambushes by ADF fighters. The ambushes always target traders and since last month, at least 15 persons have been killed and several vehicles set on fire during four different ambushes.
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