The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) Political Wing Commander, Elias Ssegujja, has been killed by the combined forces of the UPDF and Congolese FARDC during the ongoing Operation Shujaa.
He was killed during a series of heavy fire exchanges and encounters between the few ADF remnants and the UPDF in eastern Congo that escalated late last month.
A security source confirmed that several ADF fighters, including the notorious and top commander Elias, and several other commanders were eliminated.
The top military source revealed that whereas Ssegujja was killed late last month, it took a long time for the two armies to confirm his identity, and according to sources, it took one of the former bodyguards to the ADF commander who had earlier been captured to identify and confirm his identity.
The Ugandan army spokesperson described Ssegujja as a “big fish” in the ranks of the ADF rebel group, previously serving as the chief of combat and operations but also working with the artillery before becoming a commander.
“We have been hunting these groups because they are small, so you bump into one and exchange fire, and if you are lucky, you get a big catch like this Ssegujja. That is well and good,” the UPDF spokesperson, Brig. Felix Kulayigye, said of the development.
According to Colonel Mark Hazukay, the spokesperson for Operation Shujaa, Ssegujja was killed during clashes in Mwalika Valley in the Rwenzori sector of North Kivu.
In his role as a field commander, he has been accused of leading multiple deadly attacks against civilian populations, including leading a mobile camp, burning armored vehicles provided by the United Nations, caning uncooperative civilians, and killing civilians suspected of helping the DRC army, among other atrocities.
In 2013, he was accused of leading an attack against a group of FARDC soldiers who were escorting civilians along the Kamango road, and under his command, the ADF killed a number of soldiers and civilians, most of whom were beheaded, whereas the UN vehicles in which they were traveling were torched.