Security forces of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are effecting search operations in camps of rebel outfit ADF hit in a joint operation by the two countries on November 30.

The Islamist rebels who have based in Eastern part of DRC for over two decades, are accused of looting and meting war crimes on civilians in both Uganda and Congo including high profile murders witnessed in Uganda over the past couple of years.

Uganda Defence spokesperson Brig Flavia Byekwaso said on the morning of November 30, working with the Congo allies, the UPDF launched both air and artillery strikes against the ADF camps and that “the targets were accurately hit and operations against the terrorists will continue as we look for other targets of opportunity during ground operations.”

On Thursday, Byekwaso and Maj Gen Kasonga Cibangu DRC’s army spokesperson in a joint press release revealed that they are currently conducting search operations in areas they hit.

“The Special Forces of the Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of Congo supported by the Special Units of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces are continuing search operations in the areas that were shelled at dawn on 30 November 2021 by the two militaries,” read the joint press statement.

Some reports indicate that dozens of abductees held by ADF against their will and a number of military weaponry have so far been rescued during the search operations. Plus News could not independently verify this.

Last week Uganda’s Minister of State for Foreign affairs, Okello Oryem, said his country had the right to pursue the ADF in Congo, where the militia has been based for two decades, and has been blamed for a dozens of massacres in recent years.

“We have a right to self defence, to hot pursuit. We can respond in self defence and enter DRC,” Okello Oryem said.

The joint military action came shortly after Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi authorized Uganda’s troops to enter into Congo to help fight the rebel group 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 less than two 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.

On Thursday, Uganda’s state minister for National Guidance Kabbyanga Godfrey Baluku, who hails from the border district of Kasese told this news website that the locals were excited about Uganda’s decision to destroy ADF camps in DRC.

“Eastern DRC is our lifeline as the border communities who on a daily deal in trade. Rooting for stability in the area is paramount for our lives. Many people here actually wonder why government took long to reign-in on those rebels.”

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