The Congolese army has acknowledged the loss of 30 soldiers in its latest offensive against the armed group of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which has been terrorizing the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo for years.
The army also « registered 70 wounded, some of them serious, » spokesman for the region, Major Mak Hazukai, told reporters on Saturday. « We have lost some individual weapons ».
The army claims to have conquered the ADF headquarters on Thursday in Madina in the Beni region (North Kivu province).
The Council of Ministers congratulated the army on Friday for taking this « penultimate bastion of the ADF, » reads the Prime Minister’s services Twitter account.
« On the enemy’s side, 40 ADFs have been neutralized, » including « five leaders, » said the army spokesman in Beni territory.
Weapons were also recovered, according to the same source, who describes the ADF as « Islamic fundamentalists ».
The Congolese army announced on October 30 its offensive against this armed group accused of the massacre of more than 1,000 people in the Beni region since October 2014.
In return, nearly 150 civilians were killed in a month in ADF reprisals against the population, observers said.
Originally, the ADF are Ugandan Muslim rebels who withdrew to eastern DRC in the 1990s. They have not attacked the borders of neighboring Uganda for years.
In early 2019, ISIS claimed responsibility for some of their attacks.
The Congolese army is arriving « little by little towards Kamango », one of the strongholds of the ADF north of Beni, towards Uganda, added the military spokesman.
“We need a road. This is why from here we will immediately go on the Mbau-Kamango road. We are going to start the rehabilitation works of this road ”, he declared.
The Mbau-Kamango axis is at the heart of an area called the « triangle of death » due to the abuses by the ADF.
Residents of Beni had ransacked a civilian base of the United Nations Mission in the Congo (Monusco) at the end of November, accusing the peacekeepers of inaction in the face of ADF violence.
The Congolese authorities and Monusco subsequently announced “joint operations”.