DRC allows Ugandan army to enter Ituri and North Kivu to fight ADF

Ugandan armed forces allowed to enter the territories of the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi has accepted the request made by his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni. This intervention should take the form of a joint operation with fardc. The aim is in particular to prosecute the ADF armed group that is raging in the area. But in view of the recent history between the two countries it is a sensitive decision, which has not yet been officially announced by the two heads of state.

The decision of the Congolese head of state was taken Friday evening but the information was confirmed Saturday by a UN source. According to this source, the United Nations has been informed of Felix Tshisekedi’s willingness to let the UPDF, the Ugandan army, enter the territories of North Kivu and Ituri. According to our information, this intervention would take the form of a joint operation with the Congolese Armed Forces. It remains to be seen whether the FARDC will be able to carry out such an operation.

The first objective is to fight the ADF armed group, the Allied Democratic Forces. A group that has multiplied attacks against civilians and Congolese forces in recent years. On 16 November, Ugandan authorities also accused the ADF of being behind the two attacks in Kampala. It was this event that allowed Yoweri Museveni to increase the pressure on his counterpart.

The Ugandan president has been trying for years to obtain the approval of Felix Tshisekedi for this operation, because there are also economic stakes. Last May, a Ugandan consortium was awarded the construction of several roads linking the two countries. It would therefore also be a question of protecting the works.

For the moment the Congolese government has not responded to RFI’s requests, but the president of the Defence and Security Commission of the National Assembly, Bertin Mubonzi, confirmed to us that he had been informed of the presidential decision. However, he says that the implementation of the decision has yet to be studied, particularly in parliament.

The same tone is true of the United Nations, which explains that MONUSCO has been informed to coordinate with the forces present on the ground. The Ugandan presence in the DRC is a sensitive issue, especially for the inhabitants of the east of the country. The multiple conflicts of recent years have regularly involved neighbouring powers, and the violence has left its mark on people’s minds.

For several observers, members of civil society but also internationally, the probable arrival of another military power in Ituri and North Kivu is an additional threat to civilians. In particular, they believe that the ADF are mixed with the inhabitants, which makes it difficult for them to identify. « Will Ugandans do this better than FARDC or MONUSCO? asks one of our interlocutors. It’s possible but it’s not guaranteed either. »

The article was originally published by RFI available at the link DRC allows Ugandan army to enter Ituri and North Kivu to fight ADF (rfi.fr)

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