UPDF, DR Congo soldiers rescue 14 women from ADF captivity

UPDF, DR Congo soldiers rescue 14 women from ADF captivity
In a joint security operation, 14 women have been rescued from ADF captivity in DR Congo. COURTESY PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Ugandan military, in collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has achieved a significant breakthrough by rescuing 14 women who were held captive by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels.

The joint operation, led by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), took place on Monday 17, July 2023 night and targeted an ADF splinter group headed by Abu Wagas Kasi.

The rescue mission unfolded at the confluence of River Talha and Semullik, located in North Kivu province, as reported by the UPDF in an official statement released on Tuesday 18, July 2023.

The operation not only secured the release of the 14 captives but also included the liberation of a Burundi national who had served as Abu Waqas’ wife and remained within the ranks of the ADF for five years.

Pictures of the freed women were shared along with the UPDF statement, highlighting the success of the mission.

The ADF splinter group led by Abu Wagas Kasi had been identified as responsible for the tragic attack on Lhubirira Secondary School in Mpondwe, situated in Uganda’s western district of Kasese, which occurred on June 16. The attack claimed the lives of at least 37 students, a security guard, and three other members of the local community, leading to outrage and concern in the region.

Following the rescue operation, the joint forces are continuing their pursuit of the ADF group, determined to curb the insurgency and secure the region against further threats.

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The ADF, a faction affiliated with the Islamic State in Central Africa, has long been a cause of concern, operating as a Ugandan rebel group entrenched in the jungles of the eastern DRC. In response to escalating violence, the Ugandan military and their Congolese counterparts launched joint operations against the ADF in November 2021, in the aftermath of bomb attacks perpetrated by the rebel group in Kampala, Uganda’s capital.

This recent rescue operation stands as a testament to the ongoing efforts by regional forces to combat the ADF insurgency and bring stability to the affected areas. The collaboration between Uganda and the DRC exemplifies the commitment to safeguarding the lives and security of their citizens and serves as a significant step forward in countering the threat posed by the ADF.

As the joint forces remain vigilant and determined, the international community continues to closely monitor the situation and support efforts to bring lasting peace to the region.