Ugandans are among the suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels that were captured in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.
According to Captain Antony Mwalushayi, the spokesperson of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) for military operations, the suspected rebels were captured on Friday and Saturday by FARDC soldiers during an operation in Mwalika, in Beni territory, North Kivu province.
Mwalushayi says that out of 14 suspected rebels, six are foreigners from Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania and the rest are Congolese nationals. Mwalushayi however did not reveal the identities and the number of Ugandans among the six foreigners.
Mwalushayi also explains that during the operation, FARDC arrested the wife of the second commander of the rebels only identified as Amigo.
Mwalushayi says that the successful operation was conducted following information from the residents in the area.
On Saturday, 10 civilians were killed by alleged ADF rebels in Bulongo, a rural commune in Beni.
But a military reinforcement of the FARDC as well as United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) blue helmets, based in Kilya, some 7 kilometres from the commune of Bulongo, made it possible to counter the rebels, who took the direction of the forest.
Captain Mwalushayi said that following the attack, the army started combat patrols in the area to limit the threats of the rebels on the civilian population.
The ADF rebel group was originally based in western Uganda, but later expanded into the neighbouring DRC. Since the late 1990’s, the ADF has operated in the DR Congo’s North Kivu province near the border with Uganda.
While repeated military offensives against the ADF have severely affected it, the ADF has been able to regenerate because its recruitment and financial networks have remained intact.