A Ugandan soldier on Tuesday "inadvertently" shot and killed two Congolese and Ugandan soldiers in Beni, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where they are operating to neutralise the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group.
"A soldier of the 2nd class of the UPDF (Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces) inadvertently shot this morning in Bulongo/Rwenzori at two of his comrades, including a FARDC (Forces armées de la RDC) soldier," announced Lieutenant-Colonel Mak Hazukay, spokesman for the joint operations of the Congolese and Ugandan armies.
"The author of the murder is under arrest," the officer said without giving further details. The locality of Bulongo is located on the strategic Beni-Kasindi road, in the Rwenzori sector, which leads to the border between the DRC and Uganda. At the end of November, Ugandan troops entered the DRC, first in North Kivu and then, at the end of January, in Ituri, to fight the ADF.
Presented by the Islamic State (IS) as its branch in Central Africa (Iscap), the ADF group is accused of being responsible for the massacre of thousands of civilians in the DRC and of having committed jihadist attacks in Uganda.
However, despite joint military operations between the Congolese and Ugandan armies, attacks and massacres of civilians are regularly reported in the area where there are dozens of armed groups.
A Ugandan firm is working on the rehabilitation of the Beni-Kasindi road, in accordance with an agreement signed between the two states. "The UPDF soldiers are only securing the places where the machines are stored, 5 km from Kasindi," Ricardo Rupande, president of the network of civil society organisations in the Rwenzori sector, told AFP.
"For four months now, we have not heard the detonation of bombs dropped by the Ugandan air force. The bombings at the beginning of the joint operations have stopped," said Patrick Musubao, president of civil society in the town of Maimoya (Beni).