March 1, 2024

UPDF launches air strikes against ADF bases in DRC

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UPDF soldiers in an operation recently(courtesy photo)

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has attacked the bases of the rebel group Allied Democratic Forces in the DR Congo, the army leadership has said.

“This morning, we have launched joint air and artillery strikes against ADF camps with our Congolese allies,”UPDF spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.

Without giving details, the UPDF spokesperson said the air strikes were done together with their counterparts from DRC.

On Sunday, AFP reported that DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has raised an option of allowing Ugandan troops onto his soil to flush out ADF.

“President (Felix) Tshisekedi has already raised the option of allowing Ugandan troops to enter Congolese territory to chase ADF terrorists together with UN troops,” a presidential adviser told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“But Ugandan troops will not cross the border tonight or tomorrow. All procedures must first be respected, especially with respect to parliament and the DR Congo military command,” he said.

A  European diplomat confirmed the news, telling AFP: “We have been informed via our regular channels that President Tshisekedi has authorised Ugandan troops to cross the border to fight the ADF.”

The air strikes follow an agreement on duo assault by both the UPDF and the Congolese army held on November,5 at State House in Entebbe

The urge to attack ADF hideouts in the thick DRC forests became inevitable after the twin blasts in Kampala a fortnight ago targeting the Central Police Station and along Parliamentary Avenue.

At least seven people died in the blasts that security said was the work of the ADF which has bases in DRC.

The ADF started in the 1990s, as a merger of several small rebel groups, including the Allied Democratic Movement, the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU), the Uganda Muslim Liberation Army, and militant members of the Tablighi Jamaat movement .

The group would later orchestrate several bomb attacks in Kampala.

ADF also terrorized the Rwenzori region in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Kabarole for over a decade but an offensive against the group saw them flee to Eastern Congo from where they have been operating .

Whereas the group was believed to have reduced in size and coupled with their founding commander, Jamilu Mukulu, the ADF has of late remerged and carried out attacks especially in Eastern Congo.

In 2017, they killed over 14 United Nations peacekeepers under the MONUSCO and last week they killed seven before injuring many others.

In December 2018, launched airstrikes against the group’s training camps and a number of their fighters were killed but the group remains active in thick forests in Eastern DRC.

In 2019, the UPDF created a new division to be in charge of securing the Rwenzori mountain and the surrounding areas.

Named the Mountain Brigade, the new division with  its headquarters at Muhooti Barracks in Kabarole District is commanded by Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga, a battle hardened soldier who has served on different operations in Somalia and South Sudan among others .

The new division is responsible for among others having ADF group in check.

Source: Nile post


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