A top commander for the Allied Democratic Forces rebels has been killed during fighting in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to the UPDF spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire, Muhammad Kayiira, the Chief of combat operations in the rebel group was killed during a fight with the DRC army, FARDC.
“On Monday, the terrorist group (ADF) attacked a position of the Congolese army and Kayiira was killed during the resultant fight,” Brig. Karemire.
The rebel group which was a few years ago declared a terrorist organisation and is alleged to be affiliated to the Al Quaeda is responsible for a number of killings and displacement of thousands of people in Eastern DRC.
On December 07, 2017 the rebels overran a UN base in Semuliki, near Beni in North Kivu Province killing at least 14 UN troops and five Congolese soldiers under the MONUSCO prompting the UPDF to launch an offensive against them dubbed operation ‘Katuugo’ in which over 100 fighters are said to have been killed in what the Ugandan army described as a preemptive attack.
However, Brig.Karemire said the Ugandan army that’s maintains its presence at the border will not hesitate to fire back in case it comes under fire from the rebel outfit.
“I want to assure Ugandans that their sons and daughters in the UPDF will not hesitate to give the rebel group a bloody nose in case they attempt to attack Uganda,”Karemire warned.
The ADF was formed out of remnants of the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) and Jamilu Mukulu was the group’s leader until a few years ago when he was captured by the Tanzanian forces before he was repatriated back to Uganda where he is currently detained.
A 2014 combat evaluation report by the then DR Congo’s army commander, Gen Didier Etumba Longila presented in meeting with his Ugandan counterpart then, Gen Katumba Wamala on May 7, 2014 in Beni, the rebel group had killed 217 DR Congo soldiers whereas 444 had been injured in a period of just five months.
The rebel outfit is also accused of killing over 3000 people and over 100,000 were displaced in the Rwenzori region districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Kabarole for almost 10 years in the 1990s.
They operate in North Kivu which borders other provinces including Ituri to the north and South Kivu to the South and has been a battle ground for a number of rival armed ethnic groups since 1998.
The province consists of three cities including; Goma, Butembo and Beni as well as six territories—Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rutshuru.
The group’s recent attacks in the area have led to displacement of thousands of people, most of whom have fled to Uganda via Lake Albert .