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US offers up to $5M reward for leader of DR Congo ADF Militia

US offers up to $5M reward for leader of DR Congo ADF Militia
US Secretary Antony Blinken with DRC President Felix Tshisekedi at the signing of a...   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

The United States is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information that could lead to the leader of an Islamic State (IS)-affiliated militia in eastern DRC, the embassy said Thursday. American in Kinshasa.

"The United States Department of State's Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program ... offers a reward of up to $5 million for information that may lead to the identification or location of the leader" of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the embassy said in a statement.

The ADF are originally mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels, who have been rooting since the mid-1990s in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where they are accused of having massacred thousands of civilians.

In 2021, attacks on Ugandan soil were also attributed to them and a joint military operation between the Congolese and Ugandan armies was launched to hunt them down in the Congolese provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.

Their leader Musa Baluku, of Ugandan nationality, born in 1975 or 1976 according to the State Department, 2019 made a declaration of allegiance to IS, which now presents the ADF as its branch in Central Africa.

"Under the command of Baluku, this organization continues to kill, maim, rape (...) abduct civilians including children...", underlines the embassy of the United States.

She recalls that in 2021, the State Department designated Baluku as a "Specifically Designated Global Terrorist" and the ADF as a "terrorist organization".

Since its creation in 1984, the American RFJ program has “disbursed more than 250 million dollars for 125 people around the world”, she also specifies.

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