What you need to know:
- Early this week, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and the DRC forces launched a joint operation code-named “Operation Suja”, against ADF militants in North Kivu, an offensive that Ugandan officials said was intended to drive the militants out of their bases.
The military operation launched against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will only come to an end when the group is completely defeated, the UPDF has announced.
Early this week, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and the DRC forces launched a joint operation code-named “Operation Suja”, against ADF militants in North Kivu, an offensive that Ugandan officials said was intended to drive the militants out of their bases.
A combined force of UPDF drawn from Infantry, Motorized Brigade, Artillery, Armored and Special Forces Command established its tactical base in Mukakati village, about 18 kilometres from Busunga Border point on Uganda’s side in North Kivu province.
The overall operations commander, Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga said that the operation will mainly focus on weakening identified enemy camps in Yayuwa, Tondoli, Beni One and Beni Two and create a conducive environment for the population of the two countries.
“We have got information that the air force and artillery assaults launched on identified enemy defence locations on Tuesday left a number of casualties on the ADF side. We have sent ground troops to spy on the enemy bases. A lot of air force and artillery will be used on enemy camps to disrupt any further plan for war,” he revealed.
Gen Muhanga urged Ugandans and Congolese to have confidence in UPDF so that peace and security can be restored in these areas after the successful elimination of ADF. He added that they are ready to work with DRC forces to ensure peace returns to Eastern DRC.
"At the tactical level, we had a lot of engagements with FARDC commanders on the way forward and how the operation against ADF terrorists can be effected. Our operation will be reviewed every after two months to ascertain its progress on weakening enemy forces so that war and killing of innocent civilians can end,” Gen Muhanga said.
Maj Peter Mugisa, the spokesperson for Operation Suja said that UPDF trucks and other heavy equipment are stuck due to the bad terrain and rain but they were set to receive loaders and graders to clear the route so that they can advance towards the enemy lines estimated to be 20 kilometres from Mukakati.
Armed groups have been trying to control gold, cobalt and other mines for nearly 20 years through attacks and clashes in the East of DRC which borders Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.