The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has given permission for the Ugandan army to work with the Congolese army (FARDC) to go after ADF fighters who are trying to escape.
Under this new agreement, they will extend their operation to a place called Mambasa in the Ituri province. Joint forces from the Congolese army and the Ugandan army will go to the western part of the Luna-Komanda road, especially in the areas of Babila Bakwanza and Babila Babombi, in Mambasa.
Ryan O’Farrell, a Senior Analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation who studies Islamic groups in East and Central Africa, thinks this is a good move. He believes it will help weaken the ADF.
This new mission will cover most of the areas where the ADF operates. It includes their headquarters at Butani hill, which is about 25 kilometers west of RN4 near the Ituri river.
President Museveni of Uganda said that because the ADF was being strongly attacked, they had to move as far as Mambasa. He also mentioned that Uganda has talked to the DRC government about getting rid of the ADF completely and making the area safe.
Operation Shuja has already checked areas one and two. These areas are to the west and northwest of Mountain Rwenzori. The ADF used to hide there and launch attacks. Now, they are running further because of the operation.
Museveni said Uganda has the power to destroy the ADF even from a long distance. They have shared their plans with the Congo government, which includes using mobile forces, zonal forces, and other tactics.
This news comes after the DRC allowed Uganda to stay in their country as part of the operation against the ADF. This operation started in November 2021.
Operation Shuja began in 2021 as a joint effort between the Ugandan army and the Congolese army to fight the ADF.
In the past two years, this operation has led to more than 500 ADF fighters being killed, and many others were either caught or gave up. Some ADF captives were also rescued.
The ADF is known as a terrorist group by the US government. They have also used the name “Madina at Tauheed Wau Mujahedeen” to show their connection to the Islamic State. In 2019, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an ADF attack and called it the “Central Africa Province.”
The Islamic State has said that the ADF is their branch in Central Africa. Now, they are specifically called the Islamic State in DRC, to separate them from being known as the Central Africa Province of ISIS/ISIL.
The Bridgeway Foundation, a charity in the US, recently said that Operation Shuja has really hurt the ADF in DRC. For instance, they reported that more than 358 ADF members have left the group because of pressure from the Ugandan army.
Recently, the Ugandan army showed a large collection of weapons and bullets that they took from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This collection included 151 weapons, 142 submachine guns, 8 PMK Machine guns, a 60-millimeter mortar, 111 military items, 45 radio charger ports, and 10 batteries. They found these during their joint operation with the DRC army (FARDC) since November 2021.