The Armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo has said that 60 soldiers have died in campaign against fighters of the Islamist Allied Democratic Forces around the eastern city of Beni and neighboring areas since October.
ADF is an offshoot of the Ugandan Tabliq/Salafi movement from the mid-1990s, it has been based for most of its existence in the DRC, where it became deeply embedded in local sociopolitical dynamics and conflicts.
“In the space of two months, 60 brave combatants have fallen in the field of honor.” military spokesman General Leon Richard Kasonga said in a statement. “A total of 175 other soldiers have been wounded,” he added
Gen Kasongo also decried what he termed as baseless accusations by individuals and certain media house that FARDC and UN’s MONUSCO peace-keeping mission of “colluding with the slaughterers”.
“Our troops won’t be discouraged by baseless campaigns; we are determined to carry out mission to eradicate the ADF”. Read the statement.
The United Nations on November 25 scrambled choppers to airlift it’s staff from Beni in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after rioters stormed the peacekeepers’ base, accusing them of inaction against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The Militants had intensified attacks on civilians, slaughtering dozens of innocent people in just a week.
Angry rioters stormed MONUSCO’s premises, torching a building and cars in the compound.
The unprecedented havoc compelled MONUSCO to evacuate its staff from the besieged base.
The UN, which spends more than $1bn per annum on its mission in DRC, has previously been criticized for looking on helplessly as rebels wreak havoc.
The Congolese government has since October last year intensified operation against ADF fighters with more troops amassing near the Uganda-Congo border while on the hand Uganda remains on standby across the border.
In November, the chief of staff of the Congolese army, General Célestin Mbala, has moved with his team to Beni to oversee the operations.
Last month, the Congolese army said it had “neutralised” 80 ADF fighters, including four of its six main commanders since the operation began in October.
According civil society groups ADF fighters have killed more than 200 people since the army launched an offensive against the militia on October 30.