The Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) have announced the neutralization of 12 ADF combatants in Otomabere and Mambelenga, two villages in Irumu territory in Ituri, in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The clashes took place on Friday, January 7, 2021 between the army and the ADF rebels who acted in collusion with another local armed group, said Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, army spokesman in Ituri.
“They tried to attack our positionsin vain. We neutralized 12 attackers and recovered 5 AK47-type weapons,” he said.
Lt. Ngongo maintained that the army will continue operations to ensure that peace reigns in Ituri, a province plagued by insecurity perpetrated by armed groups.
“Let them lay down their arms, leave the bush and dissociate themselves from the ADF rebels. Otherwise, we will continue to pursue them,” said Lt. Ngongo.
ADF rebels are accused of killing civilians in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. For 7 years, civil society organizations have counted more than 5,000 civilians killed.
The development comes at a time the allied Congolese and Ugandan forces are piling more pressure on ADF following devastating aerial and long-rong artillery attacks on the militants’ camps especially at Kambi Ya Yua on November 30, 2021.
President Museveni on New Year eve said the fleeing ADF remnants were attacking innocent people.
“The terrorists are now fleeing and killing villagers; that will not save them,” said Museveni in reference to continuing massacres of unarmed civilians by ADF in Beni and Ituri.
“If the Congolese Government allows us, we shall hit them even if they go up to Kisangani or beyond. Their only choice is to surrender so that the people of Congo and Uganda have peace, and these terrorists also get rehabilitated, and learn to live and earn an honest living…”