The joint efforts between the UPDF (Uganda People’s Defense Force) and the DRC army, FARDC, in countering the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group within the DR Congo have yielded positive outcomes.
As stated by Maj Bilal Katamba, the spokesperson for Operation Shujaa, the collaborative forces operating in the general vicinity of Mwalika Valley have successfully rescued three women and three children, while also neutralizing one ADF rebel combatant.
Furthermore, Maj Katamba reported the retrieval of 204 rounds of PMK Machine gun ammunition, 41 rounds of Sub-Machine Gun ammunition, and three empty magazines. Plans have been arranged for the safe evacuation of those who were rescued.
Maj Katamba highlighted that units led by Maj Chombe are currently engaged in a thorough search of Mwalika Valley in North Kivu Province, located in the eastern region of DR Congo, with the aim of eradicating the ADF rebel presence.
The UPDF’s pursuit of ADF rebels has been ongoing since December 2021, when coordinated artillery and air strikes targeted the group’s strongholds in the densely wooded areas of eastern DRC.
This operation was initiated in response to terrorist attacks in Kampala that resulted in more than 10 fatalities and numerous injuries, arising from simultaneous bombings directed at the Central Police Station and Parliamentary Avenue.
Over this period, multiple ADF camps have been dismantled and various territories have been liberated from the group’s control in the DR Congo. President Museveni recently disclosed that the death toll among ADF fighters has exceeded 500 during this operation.
Although several high-ranking ADF commanders are reported to have been eliminated during these actions, the whereabouts of the highest-ranking commander, Musa Baluku, remain unknown since the commencement of the two-year operation.
While initial reports suggested Baluku’s demise due to a Ugandan army airstrike or artillery attack, no conclusive evidence has been presented to substantiate this claim.
Nevertheless, it appears that Baluku has managed to evade capture and maintain a low profile. Despite this, Ugandan military officials affirm their ongoing efforts to locate and apprehend him within the DR Congo.