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Uganda army's stay in DR Congo "strictly" limited

Soldiers with the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) (R) and with the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) are seen during a patrol in Lesie on December   -  
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President of Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi has promised to limit the operations and presence of the Ugandan army in DRCs territory.

In his annual state of the nation address the president added that the stay of the army will be bounded by the necessity of their operations.

"Some terrorist also operate in other neighbouring countries, such as the ADF, which especially roams the common border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So, to fight them more effectively, our two countries have recently agreed to pool their efforts to conduct joint operations against these common enemies. With our parliament duly informed, I will limit these operations, the presence of the Ugandan army on our territory, to the amount of time that is strictly necessary."

The two neighbours launched artillery and air strikes on November 30 against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), accused of massacres in DR Congo and bombings in Uganda.

The offensive against the deadliest militia in the east of the DRC has seen 34 rebels captured, 31 hostages freed and four enemy camps destroyed.

After 25 years of violence, he had put the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri under a "state of siege" in May, when soldiers replaced civil servants in key positions.

The president said, "no effort will be spared to restore peace and security".

He noted that the ADF also operates in Uganda and the joint border area and said the state of siege had "moved the lines" and seen former enemy bastions recaptured.

The ADF was historically a Ugandan rebel coalition whose biggest group comprised Muslims opposed to President Yoweri Museveni.

Established in eastern DRC in 1995, the group became the deadliest of scores of outlawed forces in the troubled region where thousands of civilians have died.

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