Up to 23 members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have been killed during attacks carried out by the Joint team of the Uganda peoples defence forces and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Mambasa territory, Ituri province.
According to security sources, the attack against the rebels happened on Tuesday in the villages of Makusa and Makumo, on the border with the province of North- Kivu. The same source also indicates that among the dead include ranked rebels but did not reveal the level of the ranks.
The spokesman for the Congolese army in Ituri, Lieutenant Jules Ngongo confirmed the attack against the rebels but did not explain more. He says that following this huge loss in their ranks, the ADF is currently in panic.
Mambasa Territory Administrator Jefferson Abdallah says that the attack against rebels observed a gradual return of the locals to the villages since Wednesday evening.
Abdallah says that locals had fled the repetitive incursions by the rebels in the area and asked them to strengthen collaboration with the security to discourage the activities of the rebel group in the region.
Meanwhile, the military garrison court of Beni-Butembo, sitting on Wednesday started hearing a case under which three civilians are accused of being ADF rebels’ collaborators.
Identities of the suspects were withheld by the military. One of the suspects pleaded guilty and argued that he was abducted by the rebels, trained in the handling of weapons, and later used as the supplier of basic necessities to them.
For the defendant who pleaded guilty by admitting to having been abducted, then trained in the handling of weapons, before being used as a supplier of the ADF group in basic necessities, the public prosecutor requested the death penalty.
Another suspect aged 63 years who once acted as the chief of the Isonga village in the chiefdom of Bashu in the territory of Beni, was charged with having issued a document allowing free passage to an ADF rebel during a food purchase operation.
A military prosecutor who declined to reveal his names asked the court to hand a death penalty to the suspect who argued that he was abducted to join the rebels and 10 years’ imprisonment to the former chief. UPDF and FARDC soldiers are currently in Eastern DRC to neutralize ADF rebels under an operation dubbed Shujja.
So far, the joint operation has captured Boga Airfield from the fleeing ADF rebels. The mineral-rich Boga located about 68 kilometres from Bunia has been under the control of the rebels.
The UPDF and FARDC combat vehicles have already crossed into Burasi in DRC via River Semiliki using the newly installed ferry at Haibale Landing site on the Ugandan border with DRC in Ntoroko, according to Peter Mugisa the Mountain Division Spokesperson.
On Tuesday this week, UPDF and FARDC soldiers bombed the ADF positions located in Makolo-Makolo forest towards Zunguluka in the territory of Irumu forest and killed 12 of them.
But, despite operations against them, rebels have also continued to carry out surprise attacks against the Congolese army and locals. URN