What you need to know:
- According to the UPDF, the airfield had been a hideout for the rebels, and a killing spot.
A day after the launch of the third phase of Operation Shujaa against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) , the Ugandan and Congolese forces have captured Boga airfield from the rebels.
Maj Peter Mugisa, the operation spokesperson, said the joint force used the third approach route of Burasi-Boga to capture the airfield, which the rebels were using as a hideout and for killing people.
“Our UPDF forces using Haibale landing site on River Semliki in Ntoroko District, heading to Boga areas, on Wednesday afternoon with Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), captured Boga airfield, which has been a triangle of death,” Maj Mugisa yesterday.
He said as the result of Wednesday morning artillery strikes into the ADF camp of Rume, several rebels were injured.
Maj Mugisa said the injured rebels were reported to have crossed to Kisima on Beni-Kasindi road from Mwalika Isali sector, heading northwards, probably Eringeti triangle or Rwenzori Mountains.
He added that the bombardment in Makolo Makolo forest in Irumu territory means that they are able to monitor the rebels.
Maj Mugisa said the general indicators show that ADF rebel movements are from south to northwest of R. Semliki valley to the two territories of Irumu/Mambasa of Ituri province.
“The joint forces have put the enemies under heavy pressure. They are now running here and there with casualties. We expect to see a high desertion rate and surrender if we maintain the high tempo,” he said.
While at Burasi in Congo after opening up the third phase on Tuesday, the operation commander, Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga, said phase one dealt ADF a devastating blow.
On the run
“ Many died, others got injured and the rest scattered. We are now hunting down those who scattered, ultimately we shall get them,” Gen Muhanga said.
He urged the rebels to surrender and enjoy presidential amnesty or if captured, face the court martial.
Maj Gen Muhanga said the road from Burasi to Boga, a stretch of about 50 kilometres, which is being worked on, will connect Mbau, Ouicha, Eringeti, Kainama, Tchabi, Olamoyo, R Semliki Bridge up to Mukakati, and ease their operations against the rebels.
“That means if this security road is opened, we will have covered the triangle of death (Mukakati). We shall have encircled the enemy operating in that triangle,” he said.
Gen Muhanga added that the ongoing construction of Kasindi-Beni to Butembo road and that of Bunagana-Ruchuru to Goma will propel the strategic infrastructural partnership between Uganda and DRC thereby establishing lasting peace and prosperity.
Last week, fresh attacks of ADF and CODECO rebels reported in eastern DR Congo left more than 64 people dead.
The rebels attacked Njiapande Town and Nobili village killing four people while CODECO rebels attacked Balu in Djungu territory Ituri province invaded an IDP camp of Bahema tribe, killing more than 60 people.
The attacks also left more than 1,500 refugees crossing to Uganda in Bundibugyo District.
The joint operation started with phase one when UPDF used Nobili –Kamango- Mukakati route to join their counterparts FARDC on December 1, 2021. This preceded the assault force advancing deep into Virunga impenetrable forest dislodging ADF rebels in several camps including their stronghold of Kambi Ya Yua where various military wares and documents were recovered. The forces captured the main camp base of ADF rebels of Kambi Ya Yua in December, marking the end of phase one. Last month, the Operation Shujja also opened up the second axis against the ADF rebels.