Karemire said Friday’s preemptive attack on ADF followed co-ordinated joint intelligence by the military in both Uganda and the DR Congo
More than 100 Allied Democratic Front (ADF) rebels were on December 22 killed in in long-range and artillery offensive mounted by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) on the rebel bases in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“Over 100 ADF were killed and their logistics stores destroyed in eight camps,” the UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, confirmed to New Vision on Sunday, explaining that “there are no UPDF boots on the DRC ground.”
Brig Karemire said the rebels, numbering 700 to 900 at the time of the raids, were attacked in eight camps in the Eringeti areas in the DRC North Kivu Province.
Describing the UPDF operation that used air forces and long-range artillery weapons as a “surgical attacks on ADF camps in eastern DRC,” Karemire said it was a culmination of a process that had involved high-level Ugandan and DR Congo authorities.
The offensive came weeks after the rebels killed over a dozen UN peacekeepers and injured 50 in North Kivu province.
Karemire said Friday’s preemptive attack on ADF followed co-ordinated joint intelligence by the military in both Uganda and the DRC.
He said intelligence in the Ugandan and the DR Congo had established that the rebel group, which has terrorized Uganda and DRC since the 1990s, was planning to conduct hostile activities against Uganda.
He said the army had learnt that ADF militants were planning to enter Uganda through Bundibugyo.
He said “the ADF terrorists have been bundling up in eastern DR Congo over years. They have been recruiting outside Uganda, training and carrying out radicalisation even of women and children while working with foreign jihadists.”
“Of recent there have been increased signals of intended active hostile activities against Uganda necessitating beefing up security along the (Uganda-Congo) border.”
Karemire said there is documentary evidence showing that the ADF are being supported by the Islamic Jihadists, the ISIS.
The ADF sprung up as an Islamic terror group that reigned terror in the Rwenzori sub-regions in Western Uganda and Eastern DR before the UPDF defeated them on the Uganda soil around 2001 and, with a nod from the Kinshasa regime, pursued the rebels into the DR Congo.
“Over the years, they have conducted massacres of innocent civilians, killed United Nations Peacekeepers and attacked FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) positions,” he said.
He added that in Uganda, the ADF has instigated killings of Muslim clerics and some notable people.
Museveni, Kabila agree
“In light of these developments, President Museveni has been engaging President Kabila and other leaders in the region about the persistent threat of ADF not only just to DRC but also Uganda and the need for a solution,” Karemire said.
He added that the consultations have been through various for a bilaterally and also through other regional mechanisms such as the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
“Recently, the DRC authorities proposed that the two countries conduct limited joint operations against the growing terrorist menace in our neighborhood,” he said.
He said the operation was after senior military and intelligence command levels of the two countries set out the work of thrashing the rebels out.
Brig Karemire said using a combination of capabilities the army raided and overran their camps in Eringeti.