By Kwanta Douglas –
Uganda and its neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), commenced a coordinated aerial assault against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) on Tuesday, a terror group blamed for atrocities in both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The aircraft attack, according to both countries’ spokespeople, will target the group’s hideouts in the eastern DR Congo provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, where the rebels have been implicated for recent atrocities.
“As indicated, the targeted and concerted activities with the Ugandan army began today with airstrikes and artillery fire from Uganda on the positions of ADF terrorists in the DRC,” said Patrick Muyaya, a spokesman for the DRC government.
The strikes come two weeks after four people were murdered in explosives in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, which police said were carried out by terrorists linked to the ADF. ISIS, to which the ADF has pledged allegiance, claimed responsibility for the incident.
The ADF are Ugandan rebels who have been operating in eastern DRC since the 1990s. They have recently embarked on suicide attacks in Uganda. Now the two countries say the group has become a problem for both.
“The ADF are our common enemy. We will fight them,” said Mr Muyaya.
A spokesman for the Ugandan Ministry of Defence said: “This morning, we have launched joint air and artillery strikes against ADF camps with our Congolese allies.”
In the DRC, mainly in the province of Ituri and in North Kivu, several massacres are attributed to the ADF rebels, considered as the branch of the Islamic State in Central Africa.
The actions of the Ugandan and Congolese armies have nonetheless sparked a heated debate in the DRC. According to some Congolese lawmakers, the government was obliged to inform parliament first before any military action by a foreign army on Congolese soil.