Armed ViolenceNews

DR Congo, Ugandan Joint Forces Arrest 35 Rebels In Ituri

The DR Congo national army, FARDC and the Ugandan People's Defense Forces (UPDF), say they have arrested 35 rebel fighters in one week in their ongoing offensives against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in eastern Congo.

The DR Congo national army, FARDC, and the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), say they have arrested 35 rebel fighters in one week in their ongoing offensives against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in eastern Congo.

The offensives started on Nov. 30, 2021 and the two forces said they have destroyed new rebel bastions in their latest outing. 

“After having rehabilitated some dilapidated roads linking Uganda to the DR Congo in order to facilitate their movement, the FARDC and UPDF have gone into the offensive and have bombarded new enemy camps identified in Beni territory, North Kivu and in the province of Ituri,” the two armies announced in a joint communique released on Sunday, Dec.19.

In Beni, the joint forces launched operations in the north of the Virunga park after pounding enemy positions in Kambi Yajua, Tondoli and Kahinama, the communique revealed.

“In Ituri, the bombardments destroyed a bastion of the ADF and their allies in Madina 3, Bantonga, Kitumba and Mulangu, while the offensive launched on 13, 14 and 15 December led to the capture of 35 terrorists in several villages of Irumu territory.”

The Ugandan army on its part, in a text published in the website of the Ministry of Defense on Saturday, Dec. 18,  said the joint operations would intensify in different sectors now that the terrorists have been dislodged from their former bastions.

In a first release of information on the operations, the two armies had revealed that on Dec.11, 34 rebels were arrested, four enemy bivouacs destroyed, and 31 Congolese hostages released. The number of deaths has not been revealed so far.

To consolidate the operations, the FARDC and UPDF called on the Congolese population to rally behind the coalition and to denounce the ADF.

Capt. Anthony Mwalushayi, the FARDC spokesperson in Beni region, on Sunday, Dec.19, announced the arrest of a civil society activist in the locality of Mbau, not far from the area where operations are being carried out in North Kivu for collaborating with the terrorists.

According to a military administrator in the area, several villages were last week attacked in Ituri by suspected rebels of the ADF as they fled from the joint military operations. Eight persons were killed during the same period.

Implanted in DR Congo since 1995 near the Ugandan border, the ADF is considered one of the most murderous of the armed groups operating in the eastern part of the country and which has been accused of being responsible for the massacre of thousands of civilians.

The ADF has been accused by the Kampala government of being responsible for recent attacks on its territory claimed by the terrorist group, Islamic State which presents the ADF as its Central African province – Islamic State Central African Province (ISCAP).

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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