UPDF ;| ;OPERATION ;| ;SHUJAA
As the joint operation against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in eastern DR Congo enters into the third week, the DRC political opposition has supported the presence of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). ;
According to the president of RCD-KML, one of the major DRC opposition parties, the joint deployment of UPDF and Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), is a timely initiative that will restore peace in the conflict-riddled eastern part of DRC. ;
“We will continue our political action in the sense of supporting what is good and denouncing what does not work. I support President Tshisekedi’s efforts to restore order in the east. He has taken great measures,” Mbusa Nyamwisi said shortly after being elected by his party as the presidential flag-bearer in the forthcoming Congolese general election. ;
“It was a state of siege first. He felt that it does not work entirely to the satisfaction of the local population. He felt that this needed to be reinforced with the arrival of troops from Uganda. ;
“We support all of this because it goes in the direction of breaking silence on serious actions committed against our population,” Mbusa added according to local media reports.
UN gives green light ;
Early this month, the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) gave a nod to the UPDF operations in Congo. ;
While on a working visit to Kampala, force Commander Lt Gen. Marcos de sa’ Affonso da Costa, said the nature of security threats and challenges today, including terrorism, transcend borders and, therefore, require cross border collaboration and information exchange. ;
“He also expressed a no objection to the ongoing joint operations by UPDF and FARDC against the ADF in Eastern DRC,” the Ministry of Defence release stated.
Commitment to peace
Lt Gen. Marcos de sa’ Affonso da Costa was in Kampala for a meeting with the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) of the UPDF Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, who hosted the MONUSCO delegation at the defence ministry headquarters in Mbuya, a city suburb. During the talks, Mbadi assured MONUSCO force commander of UPDF’s “unwavering commitment to supporting regional peace and security.” The joint operations against ADF terrorists were launched on November 30 with dawn bombardment of four key terror camps in Kambi Ya Yua, Tondoli, Belu 1 and Belu 2. ;
UPDF and FARDC have since taken over full control of Kambi Ya Yua and bombed three other ADF positions as the ground battle intensifies. ;
The joint forces have also advanced into the forests of Virunga Park to pursue ADF and other more than 130 armed rebel groups that have, for over two decades, used Virunga forest as a base to launch conflict in eastern DRC. ;
The territory bordering Virunga Park in Beni, military sources said, is one of the strongholds of these armed groups, including ADF, with the terror group commanders such as Musa Baluku aka Seka, Bonge La Chuma, Nasser Adbu Hamid Diiru, Elias Segujja aka Fezza, Sheik Lumisa and Abdulrahman Wasswa aka PC Sentongo, expected to be hiding in this area. ;
Security sources said this week that Baluku, who was severely wounded on November 30, has since handed over the command of the ADF to Bonge La Chuma.
Gains made ;
The joint forces have so far captured 34 ADF terrorists and rescued 31 Congolese hostages from the bombed camps. ;
In his Monday address to the DRC Parliament, the DRC President, Felix Tshisekedi said the joint deployment and subsequent drawdown of UPDF troops from the conflict-riddled area, will depend on the agreed end-strategy of ADF. ;
“In addition, some terrorist forces are also operating in other neighbouring countries. This is the case of the ADF, which specially scour the common border between Uganda and DRC. Thus, to combat them more effectively, our two countries have recently agreed to pool their efforts with a view to carrying out joint operations against this common enemy. ;
Our Parliament duly informed. I will ensure that the Ugandan army’s presence on our soil is limited to the time strictly necessary for these operations,” he said.
ADF at a glance: ;
Of the over 100 armed groups active in eastern DRC, the ADF is accused of being responsible for the massacre of more than 6,000 civilians since 2013, according to a tally by religious authorities. ;
The ADF were originally Ugandan Muslim rebels. ;
They are now touted by Islamic State terrorist group as its branch in central Africa. Eastern DRC has for long been a cradle of rebel activity, often the spill-over of conflict in neighbouring Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
An investigative report by the UN panel of experts on the DRC, released in January 2015, showed that ADF has networks in DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and the UK, from where the terrorist outfit receives funds through electronic transfers. ;
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the ADF has killed about 200 civilians and displaced nearly 40,000 others in Beni since January. ;
The terrorists also target government and UN troops as well as civilians. ;
Rwanda deploys at border ;
Military sources said that Rwanda and DRC have also signed a bilateral co-operation memo for border security, paving the way for intensified deployment at the borderline of the two countries as the battle against ADF takes shape. ;
New Vision ;has also learnt that DRC has asked the commander of the operation in eastern Congo, Maj. Gen. Camille Bombele Lohola, to hold a meeting with the UPDF commander of Operation Shujaa, Maj. Gen. Muhanga Kayanja to plan key offensives on Mambasa, Irumu and Komanda, where ADF rebels have currently stationed their core base, under the new command and leadership of Bonge La Chuma.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/operation-shujaa-enters-third-week-rwanda-deploys-at-border/ar-AARXVP31083