EXCLUSIVE: DRC Amasses Troops Near ADF Bases

more about geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Katumba who was on a working visit to Goma last weekend was assured by the DRC Chief of Staff, cheap Gen Didier Etumba Longila that Congo was in its final stages of battling the Islamist militants hiding in Beni.

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A top source says Katumba was informed that DRC would be helped by members of Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) comprising Tanzania, Malawi and South African troops to defeat the insurgents that have kept Uganda’s security on the edge for over a decade.

“By close of business Monday, at least 4,000 DRC troops were deployed in Kamango in preparation for an attack on ADF bases,” a knowledgeable and highly-placed source told this investigative website.

It should be remembered that during the military operation codenamed “Operation Rwenzori,” DRC forces (FARDC) were severely beaten by the ADF rebels who eventually seized considerable caches of heavy equipment from the attackers.

The onslaught was carried out after Uganda lost patience with DRC as the rebels continued to train, recruit and even acquire sophisticated weapons including anti-aircraft machines.

Perhaps the support of FIB forces that recently defeated the M23 rebels could help FARDC have an edge in the new campaign against ADF.

Unlike M23 who were congested near the Uganda and Rwanda borders, ADF operates clandestinely in civilian communities over large swathes of land.

ADF also boasts an Islam ideology that has hardened the hearts of combatants trained in deadly combat at a very tender age.

In the 1990s, ADF managed to maintain presence in several districts across western Uganda such as Kamwenge, Kasese, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Bundibugyo among others in just a few weeks before being routed by Generals James Kazini, Salim Saleh and Geoffrey Muheesi.

The militia also managed to infiltrate Kampala where it killed innocent civilians in brutal terrorist bombings.

For a very long time, the UPDF has been expecting ADF to strike western Uganda. This compelled President Museveni to dispatch elite guerrilla-trained Special Forces squads along the oil belt to keep a close eye on the borders.

Joint operations between Uganda and DRC forces saw several ADF leaders killed in well-planned attacks in the 2000s but fell short of destroying the negative force.

Katumba warns

At his first press briefing in Kampala after being named Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba said while there was stability and maximum safety inside the country, the ADF threat continues to pose a big challenge to security organs.

“The country over the past years has been grappling with many security threats both within and outside the borders but for now there are minimal threats. But we think there is a problem across the Eastern borders of DRC where the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are holed up.”


The ADF) a Ugandan-led Islamist rebel group based around the Rwenzori Mountains of North Kivu, is said to have increased the number of its combatants from 800 to 1,300 in 2012.

Gen Katumba Wamala

Of these fighters, 800 are thought to be highly trained and well-equipped under military commander Hood Lukwago.

The sanctioned Al-Qaeda-trained Jamil Mukulu remains the supreme leader.

Ugandan authorities and ex-combatants confirmed the presence of Mukulu alongside ADF for several months early in 2012.

ADF is said to be collaborating with Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Reports indicate ADF trained groups of young people in its camps for several months before sending them to Somalia to fight.

The first of these groups departed the camps in November 2011 after the arrest in Nairobi of the son of Mukulu identified as Bikumbi Hassan Mukulu. Al-Shabaab agents Mustapha Kamau and Jacob Musyoka posted his bail in November 2011.

Several Kenyan intelligence agencies confirmed that those individuals were members of Al-Shabaab and supported Mukulu and his family when in Nairobi.

One of the passports used by Jamil Mukulu to evade detection at international borders

Uganda authorities have in the past asked DRC to crack down on ADF elements in Kivu.

According to ex-combatants and Ugandan intelligence, ADF has strong support networks in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Following their arrest on 30 November 2011, Congolese officials repatriated ADF political cadres Hoods Sempebwa and Habibi Kiwanuka to the United Kingdom. The two play an important role in coordinating Diaspora support networks.

ADF also operates financial support cells at the port of Tanga in the United Republic of Tanzania and in Bujumbura, Kigali and Nairobi.

According to ex-combatants, couriers transport financial resources generated by those cells to ADF by crossing through the Kasindi border post from Uganda to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

ADF also generates local revenue through several business arrangements in Beni territory.

Sources say the rebels profit from taxation on illegal timber production west of Erengeti and several gold mines near Bialose village along the Lesse River.

ADF training camp in Mwalika

The extensive recruitment networks of ADF persist throughout Burundi, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. The movement continues to use the Ugandan border town of Bwera as a transit centre for its recruits.

It is said new recruits and political officers visiting the rebels from abroad are increasingly passing through Kigali to Goma and travelling northwards to Beni.

ADF recruits include children, as exemplified by the case of a rebel recruiter who was captured by Ugandan authorities in Kasese with six young boys on his way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in July 2012.

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