President Felix Tshisekedi
Kinshasa, DRC | Xinhua | President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Felix Tshisekedi promised on Monday to set a timeline for Ugandan troops’ presence in the northeastern DRC.
Since November 30, armed forces of DRC and Uganda officially launched joint military operations in northeastern DRC against rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
In his annual national address in front of parliament, the Congolese president officially brought up for the first time the presence of the Ugandan army on the Congolese territory, noting that the ADF rebels are the common enemies for both Kinshasa and Kampala.
Tshisekedi stressed the importance to support DRC’s armed forces and the ongoing joint military operations aiming at eradicating ADF rebels and building a lasting peace for the eastern DRC as well as the central African region.
“It is only in unity and harmony that we will be able to defeat this enemy who has taken the habit of sowing desolation in our towns and villages,” he said.
“Our Parliament duly informed, I will make sure to limit the time strictly necessary for these (joint military) operations and the presence of the Ugandan army on our territory,” concluded the Congolese President.
At least 1,700 Ugandan soldiers have already arrived on the Congolese soil since the beginning of the operations, accompanied by equipment including about 100 vehicles of the troop transport and battle tanks, according to the Congolese and Ugandan authorities.
According to DRC’s local press outlet Actualite.CD, this is not the first military intervention by Ugandan forces against the ADF in Beni. In 2017, UPDF claimed that it killed more than 100 ADF rebels during strikes in Beni.
The DRC northeastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, long plagued by violence incurred by armed groups, had been under a state of siege since May 6 due to violence by armed groups, especially the ADF rebels.
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