February 27, 2024

UPDF to withdraw from DRC in two weeks, says Gen Muhoozi

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The Commander of the Land Forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has revealed that if nothing changes, UPDF will withdraw from DRC where it is pursuing ADF rebels.

“Operation Shujaa will officially cease in about two weeks according to our original agreement. It was supposed to last for six months. Unless I get further instructions from our Commander in Chief or CDF, I will withdraw all our troops from DRC in two weeks,” Lt Gen Muhoozi said in a tweet on Tuesday.

He explained that the agreement signed with the Congolese government for the joint pursuit of ADF rebels was for six months and ends in two weeks’ time.

The Commander of the Land Forces in the UPDF however noted that everything can change if the leadership of the two countries sits and agrees to strike a new deal on the operation.

“To be clear Operation Shujaa will continue even for another two months if the two presidents  Yoweri Kaguta and Felix Tshisekedi decide to extend it. The two of them are the ultimate authorities. The joint forces of UPDF and FARDC are happy to keep eliminating ADF,” he added.

Uganda in November, 2021 launched air and artillery attacks on the camps on ADF camps in the thick Eastern DRC forests to launch Operation Shuja.

The UPDF using Nobili -Kamango- Mukakati route opened the first offensive route against the rebel group which saw the assault force advance deep into Virunga impenetrable forest dislodging ADF terrorists in several camps including their stronghold of Kambi Ya Yua where various military attire and documents were recovered.

A second route  from Kasindi to Beni, Nobili-R. Semliki Bridge was opened before the third one from Burasi to Boga where the ADF airfield was seized by the UPDF

A third offensive route was also opened when UPDF combat vehicles crossed into Burasi in the DRC using the newly installed ferry at Haibale Landing site on River Semlik to ensure the entire triangle of death is covered.

The joint forces of the UPDF has been able to dismantle ADF hideouts in DRC and a number of their key commanders and fighters either arrested or killed.

Why ADF

 The ADF has for several years operated in the volatile North Kivu which borders other provinces including Ituri to the north and South Kivu to the South and has been a battle ground for a number of rival armed ethnic groups since 1998.

The province consists of three cities including; Goma, Butembo and Beni as well as six territories—Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rutshuru.

According to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the ADF which was designated as a terrorist group by the US government, has used the name Madina at Tauheed Wau Mujahedeen (City of Monotheism and Holy Warriors—MTM) to refer to emphasize its links to the Islamic State.

In 2019, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an ADF attack and first referenced a “Central Africa Province.”

The organization is led by Musa Baluku, who served as a senior ADF Islamic legal official before consolidating power following Mukulu’s 2015 arrest.

The group has been blamed for last year’s bomb attacks in Kampala that left over seven people dead.

This prompted Uganda to ask for request from DRC President Tshisekedi to allow troops enter his territory in a joint operation with FADRC forces to wipe out the ADF rebel and terrorist group .

Whereas its activities including recruitment, training and planning of attacks within the region have been disrupted, it remains to be seen whether by the time of ending the operation, the group will have completely been wiped out.

SOURCE: NILE POST

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