Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday said that around 200 members of the ADF rebels affiliated with the Islamic State group were killed in Ugandan-led airstrikes in September in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Originally mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) (have been active since the mid-1990s in eastern DRC, where they have killed thousands of civilians. In 2019, they pledged allegiance to ISIS, which now claims some of their actions and presents them as its “Central African province”.
“We carried out air attacks against terrorists in Congo,” President Yoweri Museveni declared on X (ex-Twitter), before asserting that “about 200 of them were killed” in strikes carried out on September 16.
Since those in September, other strikes have been carried out, said Mr Museveni, without giving further details. Contacted by AFP, the spokesperson for the Ugandan army, Felix Kulayigye, clarified that the president was referring to the ADF rebels.
They are accused of having massacred thousands of civilians in the DRC in recent years and of carrying out jihadist attacks on Ugandan soil.
Uganda and the DRC launched a joint offensive in 2021 to drive the ADF from their Congolese strongholds, failing so far to end the group’s attacks.
The United States announced in early March that it was offering a reward of up to $5 million for any information likely to lead to their leader, a Ugandan in his forties named Musa Baluku.
In October, two tourists, a British man and a South African woman on their honeymoon, as well as their guide were killed in Queen Elizabeth Park (west), in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. The leader of the ADF rebel group accused of the murders was arrested in early November by Kampala.
In June, 42 people, including 37 students, were killed at a high school in western Uganda in an attack attributed to them.