Over 100 Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) combatants were killed in eight camps that were recently struck by joint airstrikes of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and the Congolese Army (FARC).
In a statement issued by the UPDF spokesperson, the operation dubbed ‘TUUGO’ which started on Friday December 22, has so far been a success and will be carried on to its logical conclusion.
“These were ADF historical strongholds in Eastern DRC in general areas of Erengeti Triangle – North Kivu Province. They are Medina, Canada, Abia, Topoke 2, Kajaju, Camp Richard, Makayoba and Sangote,” reads a statement issued by Brigadier Richard Karemire, UPDF spokesperson.
Those who survived the assault are roaming in different areas of North Kivu but FARDC forces are pursuing them. The UPDF is maintaining active defensive operations along the borderline in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko to deter any of the terrorists from sneaking into our territory. Should they attempt
Karemire confirmed that the strikes by the UPDF were pre-emptive following the deadly ADF attack that killed 15 UN Peacekeepers and 5 Congolese soldiers in Beni, North Kivu on December 7.
“The ADF recent attack on the UN Peacekeepers of MONUSCO from the sister country of Tanzania is an indictment to its activities not only for Uganda and DRC but also the International community.”
Having received intelligence that the ADF planned to attack parts of Uganda, the UPDFswung into action, deploying in the border districts and striking the ADF bases.
“Those who survived the assault are roaming in different areas of North Kivu but FARDCforces are pursuing them. The UPDF is maintaining active defensive operations along the borderline in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko to deter any of the terrorists from sneaking into our territory. Should they attempt to attack our border villages, UPDFshall not hesitate to pursue them to wherever they will have come from,” he warns.
The UPDF spokesperson also rubbished claims on social media that the Ugandan army had entered into the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“Contrary to falsehoods by some irresponsible, unpatriotic and opportunistic individuals being peddled on social media, we reiterate that the UPDF has neither deployed any infantry troops inside DRC nor suffered any casualties. These limited operations remain to be conducted within the boundaries of the law and with full knowledge and blessing of the DRC Government,” he said.
Uganda has in the past been charged and penalised for breaching the sovereign territory of DRC and plundering its resources.
Uganda had sent its troops into DRC in pursuit of rebels. The International Court of Justice, the UN’s highest court, ruled that Uganda was guilty of “occupying Ituri (a region in the DRC), violations of sovereignty, illegal use of force, violations of international human rights laws and looting and plunder” between August 1998 and June 2003.
In the 1990s, the ADF rebels terrorized the Rwenzori region in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Kabarole for over a decade. During the insurgency, the rebels are believed to have killed more than 3,000 people and displaced 100,000.