ADF ATTACK UPDATE: Ntoroko Residents Start to Return Home Following UPDF Assurance of Safety

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Residents of Ntoroko district in western Uganda which was attacked by ADF rebels at 1am Tuesday morning have started to return home following safety assurance from UPDF.

According to Maj. Gen Dick Olum, the commander of the UPDF Mountain Division and operations commander Operation Shujaa, the forces have fully taken charge of the DRC-Uganda borderline in Ntoroko which the rebels crossed to launch an attack on Ugandans.

The Mountain Division commander has assured Ugandans that the situation is under control.

β€œThe UPDF is committed to ensuring safety for every Wanainchi in this area. There is no need for fear,” said Maj. Gen Olum.

The commander appreciated the cooperation civilians exhibited by volunteering information and being part of repelling the ADF rebels.

On Monday evening, over 30 ADF rebels crossed from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda through river Semuliki and sneaked into the neighbouring district of Ntoroko.

By Tuesday morning the 13th of December 2022, UPDF had gathered intelligence and followed them up for action where 11 rebels were put out of action and by end of the day, 17 had been killed and 13 others arrested by evening after a day of exchanging fire between the UPDF and ADF rebels in Ntoroko District.

The rebels who raided the villages of Bweramule, Kyobe and Kyanja II left over 600 people running for their lives as they looked for refuge in the nearby towns of Karugutu, Kibuuku and Rwebisengo town council.

ADF uses child rebels

In a statement issued by Maj. Gen Dick Olum, β€œthe ADF fighters were heavily armed and among those killed and arrested the majority are below 18 years of age,” Maj. Gen Olum said.

According to videos and photos circulating of the captured rebels, the youngest is 12 years old and the oldest 18 years old.

Recovered Items

According to the UPDF deputy spokesperson Lt Col. Deo Akiiki, over 16 heavy machine guns, four improvised electric devices and four phones had been recovered from the enemy by Tuesday evening.

Who are the ADF?

The Allied Democratic Forces is an extremist Islamist rebel group in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is considered a terrorist organization by the Ugandan government.

It was originally based in western Uganda but has expanded into the neighboring DRC where it has continued to organize, train and after terrorize local communities.

On June 8 1998, the rebels raided Kichwamba technical college in Kabarole district and burnt over 80 students to death in three dormitories and abducted more than 100 students.

In November 2021, the ADF attacked Kampala with twin bomb attacks which killed 3 people and injured over 36 others. The Islamic State which is affiliated to the ADF later claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The Aftermath of the attacks Β 

After the attack, the President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni stated that, β€œIt was a miscalculation by schemers to attack a country led by a general of the original NRA revolutionary.”

He also warned that, wherever they go, the UPDF shall reach them as long as DR Congo allows Uganda to operate with them.

Weeks after the UPDF in an operation code-named Shuja with FARDRC had an air strike on key ADF camps such as Kambi Ya yua, Tondoli, Belu 1 and Belu 2 which left scores dead and a few running into the deeper jungles of Eastern Congo.

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