Security forces of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have captured Kambi Ya Yua, a much revered camp of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) inside Virunga forest in Congo.
The development confirmed by the deputy defense spokesperson, Lt Col Ronald Kakurungu, happened on the morning of Friday December 24, when the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) mobile Forces together with the Forces Armées De la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) assault Force, captured the camp with limited enemy resistance.
“There was no effect on the joint forces,” he says.
Kambi Ya Yua, a stronghold of ADF/ISCAP terrorists, seating on eight acres of Virunga forest land, is estimated to have accommodated over 600 ADF/ISCAP terrorists and their families.
Kakurungu says the camp was a host to military training and Islamic radicalization activities as evidenced by the literature and the bomb making materials found.
He reveals that the joint security forces of Uganda and DRC found in the captured camp among others one damaged Laptop computer, 129 live rounds of PK machine gun loaded in their chain, 155 live rounds of Sub machine gun ammunition, 3 solar panels and enemy strength registers.
“The structures in the camp were well built with locally made fences with many cleared under tree shades as seating areas, suggesting that it was likely to be a Command Post of a high ranking rebel leader,” remarks Lt Col Kakurungu.
“UPDF engineers are working around the clock searching for possible improvised explosives, bunkers and to acquire more clues about the terrorists,” he adds.
Lt Col Mbayo Katuta, the FARDC Assault Brigade Commander, who is commanding the ground forces in the jungles of Virunga forest said, “We want to put ADF and other bandits on tenterhooks, with no breathing space, always on the run, block their supply chains. They will die of hunger in the forest. Soon you will see many surrendering when the situation gets unbearable.”
On his part, Col James Kasule, the UPDF 111 Mountain Brigade Commander, said capturing this camp is a big milestone because the enemy was using this same camp to launch terror attacks against both Ugandans and Congolese.
The joint military action started with the hitting of rebel outfit camps on November 30 after Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi authorized Uganda’s troops to enter into Congo to help fight the rebel group.
The combined UPDF Air Force and artillery shelled Kambi Ya Yua, Tondoli, Belu1 and Belu2 which are found in North Kivu province in Virunga and Ituri impenetrable forests of Eastern DRC.
ADF is blamed for attacks in eastern Congo that have killed more than 1,000 people over the past several years. The attacks have become more frequent in recent months.
At least four civilians were killed a couple of weeks ago in Kampala when suicide bombers detonated their explosives at parliamentary avenue and Central Police Station in Kampala.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the explosions, saying they were carried out by Ugandans. Ugandan authorities blamed the attacks on the Allied Democratic Forces, an extremist group that has been allied with the IS group since 2019.
The ADF was established in the early 1990s in Uganda. The Ugandan military later forced the rebels into eastern Congo, where many rebel groups are able to operate because the central government has limited control there.