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12 ADF Militants Killed During Heavy Fighting in Ituri

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At least 12 rebels have been killed during heavy fighting between the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in conjunction with Mai Mai militiamen with government army in two villages, south of the ‘Irumu territory, Ituri province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, the spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Ituri province, the incident occurred in the wee hours of Friday morning at around 5 am, when rebels attacked Otmaber and Mambelenga villages.

Ngongo says that the rebels and militiamen first attacked Otmaber village and started shooting. However in the process, the government army responded and heavy fighting started resulting in eight deaths. But a few minutes later, the rebels launched a fresh attack at Mambelenga village, where four other lives were lost and five AK 47 guns recovered.

He explains that it took more than five hours for the FARDC to overcome the rebels from their positions in Otmaber and Mambelenga villages.  He also says that the fighting disrupted traffic between Komanda and Luna on National Route 4.

He adds that the government army later regained full control of the villages after, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) troops also joined and conducted backup. MONUSCO and FARDC soldiers have also organized motorized combat patrols alongside in order to reassure the distraught population.

ADF rebels have continued to carry out surprise attacks against locals despite the presence of FARDC and UPDF in the area to combat its operations since November 30, 2021.  Earlier this month, rebels attacked Idohu village same territory and killed 17 locals.

On December 22, 2021, the rebels shot a truck that was transporting food between Makumo and Lukaya in Bangole. The truck was heading to Biakato in the territory of Mambasa (Ituri) from North Kivu. In the same month, the rebels attacked Mahu village, the Bangole group in Mambasa territory in Ituri province, and burnt seven tons of Cocoa that was stored in Kivu agricultural trading company. The rebels also killed five people during the attack.

Joint security operations are also registering progress towards the fight against the rebels. On December 26, 2021, Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, spokesperson of the FARDC in Ituri Province announced that seven rebels were on that day killed in the village of Bandindese, 18 kilometres from Komanda in the Irumu territory. Two AK 47 guns were also recovered from the rebels.

In the same month, combined UPDF Air Force and artillery shelled Kambi Ya Yua, Tondoli, Belu1, and Belu2 in North Kivu province in Virunga and Ituri impenetrable forests of Eastern DRC, according to Major General Muhanga Kayanja, the overall commander of operation shujaa.

The ADF has for several years operated in the volatile North Kivu which borders other provinces including Ituri to the North and South Kivu to the South and has been a battleground for a number of rival armed ethnic groups since 1998. The province consists of three cities including; Goma, Butembo, and Beni as well as six territories–Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rutshuru.

ADF has been blamed for the recent attacks in Kampala that leftover seven people dead. It is also being blamed for the Christmas day attack at InBox restaurant-bar, located on Boulevard Nyamwisi, Beni city, eastern DR Congo that left eight people dead and 20 injured.

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