Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo carried out joint air and artillery strikes against an Islamic State-linked militia in eastern Congo on Tuesday, both countries said, vowing to continue working together to secure the targeted area. The strikes targeted the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia, which has been based in Congo since the late 1990s and is accused of killing hundreds of villagers in raids after it pledged allegiance to Islamic State in mid-2019.
In separate statements, the Congolese and Ugandan armies said they had allied to target ADF positions in Congo with air strikes and artillery. A Congo army spokesman, Antony Mwalushay, said three ADF fighters were killed and three wounded during intense fighting at the Semuliki bridge, which connects the city of Beni to Uganda. One Congolese soldier was killed, he added.
A triple suicide bombing in the Ugandan capital Kampala on Nov. 16, which killed seven people, including the bombers, was the third Islamic State has claimed in the east African nation. Ugandan authorities reacted by declaring that they could enter Congo to hunt down the militia in self-defence.
Underpaid and poorly disciplined, Congo’s army would have difficulty in seriously degrading the capabilities of the ADF alone, said J. Peter Pham, former US envoy for the Sahel and Great Lakes regions of Africa.
“(But) any presence of foreign forces risks considerable blowback politically and, if sustained over any amount of time, even strategically. Uganda’s response risks triggering a wave of retaliatory attacks against civilians and stoking regional rivalries, analysts said.
In other news – Lasizwe remembers his late mom 5 years after her death
Lasizwe says the first day in the month of December is a weird day for him because he watched his mother take her last breath on this day 5 years ago.
“Today is such a weird day for me. On this day 5 years ago, I witnessed my mother take her last breath,” he said. Learn more