DRC / Uganda: Luanoli has become a forward base for UPDF

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For more than three months now, Ugandan (UPDF) and Congolese forces have been conducting a joint operation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to fight the ADF’s armed group, responsible for the deaths of more than 6,000 civilians since 2013, according to the Congolese bishopric. In late February, a Ugandan army forward base was established in Luanoli, a mountain-side village, attacked by the ADF in January.

From our correspondent in the region,

Debris from the roof of the Luanoli health center has been littering the ground since the attack by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the village: “All valuables have disappeared, such as the medicines for the caesarean section. And everything was set on fire by ADF, says Espoir. That was in January.

That night, the residents of Espoiret fled when they heard shots in the center of Luanoli. Many took refuge in the surrounding villages, first in Nobili, a border town with Uganda. “In February, Nobili was also attacked, causing total psychosis, and the population fled. Nobili was attacked, the village of Kikura too, now the people do not know what to do. They have no more places to go. ”

This is the case with Kahambo. In Luanoli, only a pile of bricks remains from his former home, which was set on fire during the attack. Since Nobili was also a target of the rebels, she is still looking for a safe place to settle. “I come here every now and then to look for food, but I do not stop. Since the attack, I spend my nights near Nobili, but not in the village, in the middle of the bush, where I feel safer, ”she explains.

The army arrived late. The Ugandan army started a military base in the village almost three weeks ago. But the soldiers arrived late, the night between February 27 and 28, to prevent the attack on the neighboring village of Kikura.

In front of a group of journalists, the soldiers demonstrate their artillery fire. According to Lieutenant Colonel Richard Watmon, the ADF is now scattered in the Rwenzori Mountains. “The enemy is now in a small group, so it is very difficult to locate them. So we need forces on the ground more than artillery. Artillery is useful only when we are locating a large group. We are now conducting offensive patrols where we suspect the enemy is hiding. sig. ”

According to him, 16 ADF fighters were killed by his men after the attack on the village of Kikura.

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