The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for yet another attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo, raising a flag in a region struggling with conflict and disease.
The global terrorist group said on Tuesday it “killed 15 soldiers including an officer” in an attack on a government forces (FARDC) camp in Beni, North Kivu.
It claimed seizing “weapons and explosives” from FARDC.
Allied Democratic Forces, which operates in Beni, about 55 kms from the Ugandan border, has since pledged loyalty to the Islamic State (IS).
IS, which launched its first attack on government soldiers in 2019, considers North Kivu as its “Central Africa Province of the Caliphate.”
The operations of ADF and IS have since rattled Ugandan authorities.
President Museveni ordered the French-trained mountain brigade to beef up security in the mountainous Rwenzori area neighbouring DRC.
Uganda is set to start production in the Albertine region.
ADF, whose supreme leader, Jamil Mukulu, is jailed in Uganda on charges of murder and terrorism, has been making a tentative attempt to align itself with other jihadist groups, calling itself Madina at Tauheed Wau Mujahedeen (MTM, “The city of monotheism and holy warriors,”) presenting a flag similar to that used by Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Boko Haram and placing a strong emphasis on a radical, violent interpretation of the Quran.
The arrest of a Kenyan ISIS financial facilitator illuminated the first concrete linkages between the ADF and other jihadi groups via bank transactions.
The Congolese forces, which have been conducting military operations against ADF in the area, on Tuesday confirmed killing 516 militants.
“The FARDC neutralized 516 terrorists from different armed groups during the ‘Ituri storm’ military operation,” said the armed forces spokesperson, Maj Gen Leon Kasonga.
Late last week, the army arrested a female operative of ADF/MTM in the Ruwenzori sector, “making it possible to foil an attack on the village of Lume.”
After being defeated in Syria and Iraq, ISIS has since moved to consolidate its foothold in Africa. The terrorist group has killed hundreds in Northern Mozambique.
Uganda and DRC recently agreed to construct modern roads in North and South Kivu to improve security and attract investments in the area.