Uganda says its operations in Congo have killed 567 IS-allied fighters.
Details of the Conflict
In response to critical national security threats, Uganda has reportedly eliminated more than 560 members of a rebel organization linked with the globally-recognized terrorist group, Islamic State, since the commencement of focused counter-terror operations in December 2021. The group, identified as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), has established its operational base in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern jungles, from where it launches incursions not only within Congo but also into Uganda.
Combined Efforts Against the ADF
After securing consent from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda’s official military forces assembled to orchestrate strategic attacks against the bases and combatants of the ADF. The primary aim behind these operations was to dismantle the ADF’s camps and neutralize their militant forces either through tactical killings or well-planned capture operations.
In a recent public address, President Yoweri Museveni revealed that during these crucial operations, a total of 567 ADF combatants had been effectively neutralized while 50 more had been captured. Furthermore, the security forces managed to confiscate a diverse range of weaponry from the rebel group, numbering approximately 167 pieces, including lethal equipment like sub-machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
The Rebels’ Desperation
President Museveni, asserting his convictions against the ADF, declared, “They are desperate … the only option for them is to surrender.” He further issued an advisory to Ugandan civilians particularly those in charge of public facilities such as buses, markets, and hotels, urging a heightened level of vigilance and implementation of customer registration processes to prevent potential ADF militants from exploiting their services.
Earlier this week, Ugandan police reportedly intercepted and secured at least six improvised explosive devices (IEDs) linked to a planned ADF attack. One of these IEDs was successfully retrieved from a suspect outside a church he was attempting to enter.
In a sobering recall of the destructive power wielded by the rebel group, suicide bombers from the ADF initiated horrific attacks in 2021 outside a significant police station and nearby the parliamentary building in the capital of Uganda, leading to the tragic loss of seven lives. Furthermore, in a shocking incident in June, 42 innocent lives, predominantly students, were callously taken at a school in Kasese, situated in Western Uganda.
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