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Ugandan army launches strikes against ADF rebels in eastern DR Congo

Picture extract from a video showing Congolese forces patrolling in the eastern DRC   -  
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AP Photo

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Uganda’s army has launched joint air and artillery strikes against the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group in eastern Congo.

The attacks were carried out with Congo’s military against ADF camps, Uganda People’s Defense Forces spokeswoman Brig. Gen. Flavia Byekwaso said via Twitter. No further details were given.

Meanwhile some Congolese opposed the move to involve external forces.

"This is a way of undermining the memory of our compatriots who were victims of atrocities during the war in Kisangani and Ituri, which the Ugandan army caused. We believe that the head of state has not taken into account what his people believe, that he has neglected us and he has even broken the rules by allowing a foreign army to enter Congolese soil," a Goma resident said.

Another resident said, "Uganda and Rwanda are the main contributors of insecurity in the DRC. It is not easy for a population to accept that those who fuel insecurity come to fight against this same insecurity."

On the other hand, some provincial authorities from North Kivu expressed their support for this new intervention that seeks to bring peace and security to the east of the country.

"There is an army that comes to support internal efforts, we say if it is really to track down people who massacre populations, to put an end to the massacres in any case the solution is welcome," said Promise Matofali, a provincial authority in Goma region.

The joint military action comes shortly after Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi authorized Uganda’s troops to enter into Congo to help fight the rebel group blamed for attacks in eastern Congo that have killed more than 1,000 people over the past several years. The attacks have become more frequent in recent months.

At least four civilians were killed less than two weeks ago in Uganda’s capital when suicide bombers detonated their explosives at two locations there.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the explosions, saying they were carried out by Ugandans.

Ugandan authorities blamed the attacks on the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, an extremist group that has been allied with the IS group since 2019.

The ADF was established in the early 1990s in Uganda. The Ugandan military later forced the rebels into eastern Congo, where many rebel groups are able to operate because the central government has limited control there.

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