The Democratic Republic of Congo army has announced the start of a manhunt for the overall commander of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) Musa Baluku.
Baluku took over the reins of the militant group after the capture of Sheik Jamil Mukulu, the founding commander of ADF by Tanzanian authorities in 2015.
Mukulu is currently on remand at Luzira maximum security prison in Uganda.
In a statement realized via their twitter handle, the Congolese Army marked Baluku as public enemy number one and said a manhunt for him is on.
“The armed forces of DRC are now concentrating they efforts on the hunt of Afande Musa Baluku, commander of the ADF on Congolese territory. He is the last known leader of the Ugandan armed group present in the DRC, ” read part of the statement.
The ADF, originally from Uganda, has been waging a campaign of violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo for years.
The army announced its campaign against the ADF on October 30. The rebels are accused of having killed more than a thousand people in the Beni region, in the northern part of North Kivu, since 2014.
According to officers, since the beginning of operations, DR Congo army has gained control of ADF camps including Mayangose, Kididiwe, Vemba, Kadohu, Point 46, Masulukwede, part of Mwalika, Mabeto and Karuhamba.
The total number of killed ADF combatants is estimated at over 150.
In August 2019, ADF combatants crossed into the south of Irumu Territory and attacked villages in Boga following a May 2019 incursion into Chabi.
According to United Nations’ recent report on rebel movements in Eastern DRC, Since the September 2019 announcement of FARDC military operations, ADF leaders had begun to move material and combatants from some camps, including Mayangose and Kididiwe, to Kajaju, Whisper and Bango in the Madina complex.
Some combatants had moved towards Mamove, west of Oicha, while children and the elderly had been transferred northwards from Mwalika camp
Around 20 combatants were left in the smaller camps with a few AK-pattern assault rifles.
Last the week the army captured the ADF’s headquarters during the battle at Madina, and killed 40 rebel fighters, including five of their leaders
During the fierce fighting Islamist rebels killed 30 soldiers and wounded another 70, according Major Mak Hazukai the spokes person operation sokola that targets ADF.