DR Congo conflict: Hiding on top of a hill to escape the rebels
FILE - Ugandan Peoples Defence Forces soldiers patrol Mukakati in eastern DR Congo on December 10, 2021. [File photo: NMG]
The DR Congo and Ugandan armies will continue joint operations against ADF terrorists in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they have confirmed.
General Camille Bombele Lohola, the commander in charge of coordinating joint operations, said, “We were given the mission to eradicate the ADF, but we have not yet completely eradicated the enemy, so we are continuing [with the mission].”
The two armies signed the extension of the operations on Wednesday to enable them continue the mission.
Initially, the Operation Shujaa, the mission against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), was scheduled to last six months, which would have seen Uganda withdraw its troops by June 1.
In mid-May, Uganda’s commander of the ground forces, General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, announced that Uganda would withdraw its troops at the end of May, unless the operation was extended.
Since November 30, 2022, the Congolese and Ugandan armies have joined forces to fight the ADF terrorists, who have been hiding in the DRC since the 1990s and have been accused of several attacks in the Congolese provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, and last year in Ugandan capital Kampala.
According to the Congolese government, the first two phases of the joint operation between the two armies have “significantly reduced the terrorists’ capacity to cause harm.”
DRC authorities say the ADF are now down to about 100 fighters.
But despite these assurances by authorities, the ADF have still carried out deadly attacks in eastern DRC.