Collaborative efforts quell ADF threat

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Collaborative efforts quell ADF threat
Maj Gen Olum inspects weapons recovered from the ADF

By Fahad Masereka

Kasese district, plagued by repeated attacks from suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels throughout 2023, has witnessed a resurgence of peace.

The recent tranquillity is credited to the joint efforts of local communities and security operatives.

Nestled on the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border, Kasese faced a series of devastating ADF attacks this year.

The first blow struck on June 16th, when rebels targeted Mpondwe Lhubiriha Secondary School, leaving over forty dead, the school in ruins, and food supplies looted.

In subsequent incidents, the ADF ambushed a truck carrying onions on October 12th, resulting in two casualties and the destruction of the vehicle.

The last and most harrowing attack occurred in Queen Elizabeth National Park, where two tourists and their guide fell victim to the rebels, their van later torched.

Speaking on the recent developments, Kasese Resident District Commissioner Lt. Joe Walusimbi assured the public, stating,

"The situation has returned to normal with security under total control."

Lt. Walusimbi commended the resilience of the people, saying,

"The people of Kasese endured unimaginable hardships, but through their resilience and unity, they have emerged stronger than ever before."

To maintain this newfound peace, Major General Dick Olum, Commander of the Mountain Division and Operation Shujja forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo, stressed the importance of information sharing.

Major General Olum emphasized,

"Information sharing is key in our ongoing efforts to secure the region and keep the community safe."

Highlighting the significance of tourism in the region, Pontius Ezuma, Chief Warden of Queen Elizabeth National Park, confirmed heightened security measures, stating,

"Security has been beefed up to ensure the safety of tourists, particularly in areas targeted by terrorists."

In a collaborative effort, joint forces of the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) and the marine unit have conducted numerous operations, resulting in the elimination of several ADF members and the arrest of their commander.

Operation Shujja, jointly executed by UPDF and FARDC forces, continues to pursue ADF rebels in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo, aiming to ensure lasting peace in both countries.

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