Uganda accuses former Congolese leader of providing shelter to jihadists

Uganda’s President Yoweri has made allegations against former Democratic Republic of Congo leader Joseph Kabila, accusing him of providing shelter to Islamist militants and enabling them to exploit valuable resources such as minerals and timber.

Reportedly these illicit activities have allowed the militants to bolster their capabilities and expand their influence.

For years, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a former rebel group based in Uganda, has been operating in the eastern jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2019, they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) and have since been responsible for carrying out attacks on both civilians and security forces, resulting in numerous casualties.

Last month militants belonging to the aforementioned group crossed the border into Uganda, launching a violent assault on a secondary school where they mercilessly massacred 42 individuals, predominantly students.

Tragically, some of the victims were subjected to the horrifying act of being burned alive.

In a speech delivered late on Thursday, President Museveni referenced the recent attack and highlighted that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) had managed to expand their operations and establish substantial camps in eastern Congo during Kabila’s tenure as the country’s leader.

“The Congo government of H.E. Kabila, supported by some regional and international actors, gave them free tenancy in North Kivu and Ituri,” Museveni said, referring to Congolese provinces.

“They were mining gold, selling timber, harvesting people’s cocoa, collecting taxes, extorting money from people, etc. They were modestly growing and with money.”

Kabila was Congo’s president from 2001 to 2019.

In 2021, Uganda, with the consent of the current Congolese leader Felix Tshisekedi, initiated a joint military operation with the Congolese army aimed at combating and defeating the insurgent forces.

President Museveni mentioned that the military operation had effectively dismantled the majority of ADF camps, causing the rebels to disperse into smaller, elusive groups that pose a challenge for detection.

These fragmented groups occasionally infiltrate Uganda to conduct attacks on innocent civilians.

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