Ugandan, DRC Forces Launch Airstrikes Against ADF Rebels in Congo
KAMPALA, UGANDA —
Uganda's armed forces say they have launched joint airstrikes with the Democratic Republic of Congo against Islamist militants that Uganda blames for suicide bombings this month in its capital.
In a tweet Tuesday morning, Ugandan Brigadier General Flavia Byekwaso announced that Ugandan forces, together with Congolese allies, had launched joint air and artillery strikes against camps of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF.
She confirmed the attack to VOA.
“Yes, it’s true, there’s a joint operation going on this morning on ADF positions.”
Ugandan officials blame the ADF for recent suicide bombings in the capital, Kampala, that killed five people, minus the bombers.
The ADF has been fighting the Ugandan government since 1996 and claims affiliation with the Islamic State militant group.
Earlier this month, while addressing the country on the security situation, President Yoweri Museveni said members of the ADF would be pursued wherever they are.
Byekwaso told VOA that Tuesday’s airstrikes in Beni, in eastern Congo, were a long-term wish.
“This has been a wish, actually for both presidents. Because ADF is not only a threat to Uganda, but a threat within the region and a threat to DRC itself. I think this has been something that we’ve been looking for, for quite some time," Byekwaso said.
Prior to Tuesday’s airstrikes, Museveni said 12 ADF members had been killed and 106 arrested in Uganda since June.