Thursday September 21, 2023

Fighting in east DR Congo kills 14 soldiers, 62 rebels

March 25, 2020

BENI: Fourteen soldiers and 62 rebels in the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia have been killed in the past two weeks around the town of Beni in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, the army announced Tuesday.

The clashes began on March 9, General Ychalingonza Nduru, head of military operations north of Beni, told the media.

The army has reported a series of successful operations since October 30, 2019, when it launched an offensive against the ADF.According to a previous claim, troops “destroyed all the ADF strongholds” in the forest and jungle around Beni, and killed five of six known rebel leaders.

The mainly Muslim movement originated in neighbouring Uganda, opposed to the rule of President Yoweri Museveni, but swiftly moved in 1995 into the DRC, which became its base of operations.ADF fighters are accused of killing more than 1,000 civilians in the Beni region since October 2014.

Its members stepped up massacres last November in reprisal for the military offensive, at a cost of almost 400 lives, according to experts.The rebels have carried out no attacks inside Uganda for years.

A report to the UN Security Council in January said that the ADF has the characteristics of both an armed group and a criminal organisation, while its members appeared to uphold a radical Islamist ideology.Information is insufficient to prove that the ADF has ties with international Islamic extremist movements, the report said.