UPDF claim 100 rebels killed in DR Congo strikes

UPDF claim 100 rebels killed in DR Congo strikes
Uganda Peoples Defence forces on Wednesday claimed that its operations in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo killed over 100 members of a Ugandan Muslim rebel group accused of murdering UN peacekeepers. Courtesy Photo

More than 100 rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and eight of their camps were destroyed in the Democratic Republic of Congo during recent joint airstrikes by the Ugandan and the Congolese armies.

Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) spokesperson, Brigadier Richard Karemire has disclosed in a statement that operation “TUUGO” which started on December 22 targeted ADF’s strongholds in Eastern DRC.

The airstrikes followed suspected ADF attack on a UN base in Semuliki, near Beni in North Kivu Province on December 7 that left at least 14 UN troops and five Congolese soldiers dead.

“These were ADF historical strongholds in Eastern DRC in general areas of Erengeti Triangle – North Kivu Province. They are Medina, Canada, Abia, Topoke 2, Kajaju, Camp Richard, Makayoba and Sangote,” Karemire wrote in a statement.

According to Karemire, more than 100 ADF fighters were killed in the air strikes on the ADF positions, which started on December 22, 2017.

“Those who survived the assault are roaming in different areas of North Kivu but FARDC forces are pursuing them. The UPDF is maintaining active defensive operations along the borderline in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko to deter any of the terrorists from sneaking into our territory. Should they attempt to attack our border villages, UPDF shall not hesitate to pursue them to wherever they will have come from,” he warns.

Adding: “The ADF recent attack on the UN peacekeepers of MONUSCO from the sister country of Tanzania is an indictment to its activities not only for Uganda and DRC but also the International community.”

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, described the attack as “the worst attack on UN peacekeepers in the organization’s recent history” and called it a “war crime.”

Karemire says the population in the affected areas, the region and international partners shall be mobilized to stop the terror activities once and for all.

“Contrary to falsehoods by some irresponsible, unpatriotic and opportunistic individuals being peddled on social media, we reiterate that the UPDF has neither deployed any infantry troops inside DRC nor suffered any casualties. These limited operations remain to be conducted within the boundaries of the law and with full knowledge and blessing of the DRC government,” he said.

He calls on citizens and allies to disregard the falsehoods and treat them with the contempt they deserve.

“UPDF shall remain committed to its covenant of protecting the citizens and therefore, there should be no cause for worry,” reads the statement.