Rebels affiliated with the Islamic State group launched an attack in eastern DR Congo, resulting in the deaths of two Ugandan soldiers, two civilians, and one suspected assailant, according to local authorities. The incident occurred at a car park in Kasindi, Beni territory, where two truck drivers, one Kenyan and one Congolese, were shot dead by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an IS-affiliated rebel group.
Kasindi has experienced violence attributed to the ADF in the past, including a Pentecostal church bombing in January that claimed the lives of about 15 people, with IS claiming responsibility for the attack. Despite a joint offensive in 2021 by Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to drive ADF militants from their Congolese strongholds, attacks have persisted.
The ADF, which originally consisted mainly of Muslim Ugandan rebels, established a presence in the region during the 1990s and has been accused of committing atrocities against thousands of civilians. During the recent attack in Kasindi, two Ugandan soldiers lost their lives while attempting to thwart the ADF’s advance. Additionally, three vehicles were set ablaze during the confrontation.
The incident left the local population incensed, leading to the burning of the body of a deceased ADF member, as reported by an anonymous local civil society representative. The ADF has been a long-standing source of instability in the region and is alternatively referred to as the Islamic State Central Africa Province by IS.
Further violence attributed to the ADF occurred in the Beni territory, where 26 civilians lost their lives in a massacre that took place overnight. This region has been the focal point of the ADF’s prolonged violence. In Uganda, the ADF was implicated in the murder of a honeymoon couple and their safari guide in Queen Elizabeth National Park, an incident for which IS claimed responsibility.
Despite the presence of peacekeepers, eastern DR Congo remains plagued by numerous militia groups and rebel forces, underscoring the persistent challenges in achieving stability in the region.