The Allied for Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels have killed at least 230 soldiers and wounded many others belonging to the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC). This was during fierce fighting yesterday at Malibongo in Ituri, eastern DR Congo, the Kampala Post has learnt
Ituri is part of North Kivu, a province bordering Lake Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. North Kivu sits on the border with Uganda to the east.
The ADF, rebels originally from Uganda, have been waging a campaign of violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo for years. Last year, the same rebels killed 30 soldiers and wounded another 70, some seriously, during similar fierce fighting in North Kivu province.
Despite the continued attacks by ADF rebels on DRC forces and innocent civilians, this website understands that Uganda has been asking the DRC and its leader Felix Tshisekedi to allow Ugandan forces to attack the rebels for over a year but the DRC leadership has refused thus far. Uganda has contributed to peace and stability in neighboring countries including South Sudan and Somalia among others.
It should be noted that the DRC is Uganda's strategic neighbor and therefore insecurity in the DRC especially at the border hinders Uganda's security. Recently, another rebel group, (CODECO) from the DRC, taking advantage of the fragile security situation in the neigbouring country attacked a UPDF detach in Zombo district although they were repulsed.
On the other hand, Uganda and DRC are strategic partners, having recently embarked on joint infrastructure projects to boost transport and trade. Last month, President Yoweri Museveni and his DRC counterpart Felix Tshisekedi commissioned the start of the construction work of roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC. They also launched the Mpondwe bridge in Kasese district. The two leaders met at the Kisindi border post to launch the projects that will be jointly financed by the two countries. However, the insecurity in the DRC is a major stumbling block to the fruits of these projects.