Ugandan soldiers enter Congo to fight extremist ADF rebels
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Uganda deployed foot soldiers inside Congolese territory, intensifying a military assault against rebels accused of attacking civilians in Congo and Uganda, according to a Ugandan military official.
An unknown number of Ugandan infantry troops crossed the border into eastern Congo Wednesday, the day after Uganda launched artillery and airstrikes on bases believed to be occupied by members of the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, said Ugandan military spokeswoman Brig. Flavia Byekwaso.
Uganda is fighting the rebels with the blessing of Congolese authorities. The ongoing assault on the ADF has been described by Uganda as a joint effort with Congo in the aftermath of a series of bomb blasts in the Uganda capital that were blamed on the rebels. The most recent of those explosions, in which at least four civilians were killed, happened Nov. 16 at two locations in Kampala.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the explosions, saying they were carried out by Ugandans. Ugandan authorities blamed the attacks on the ADF, which has been allied with the IS group since 2019.
Ugandan authorities have vowed to hunt down the ADF’s fighters at home and abroad.
Col. Paddy Ankunda, a senior Ugandan army official, shared footage purporting to show artillery fire being launched toward ADF bases, saying on Twitter: “They invited us and we are coming in full force.”
The ADF has long been opposed to the rule of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, a U.S. security ally who has been in power since 1986. Established in the early 1990s in Uganda, the ADF later was forced to flee into eastern Congo, where many rebel groups are able to operate because Congo’s central government has limited control there.
Many deadly attacks on civilians in eastern Congo have been blamed on the ADF in recent years.
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