(MENAFN) Uganda's Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels have been a long-standing threat in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. On Wednesday, the Ugandan military announced that a senior commander of the group, Seka Wankaba, was killed in a military operation in Mwalika Valley, North Kivu province. According to Uganda's deputy military spokesperson Col. Deo Akiiki, Wankaba was a highly trained improvised explosive device (IED) expert and a Ugandan national. Akiiki also warned that the military will continue to pursue ADF until their command and control structure is fully decimated.
The ADF was formed in the 1990s by several opposition movements in Uganda. After being defeated by the Ugandan army, the group remained active in eastern Congo for decades, wreaking havoc and causing instability. This led to a joint military operation between Uganda and Congo in late 2021 to flush them out. Despite this, the ADF has continued to carry out attacks, including Tuesday's attack in southern Irumu territory which claimed the lives of seven people. The victims, including women and children, were reportedly searching for food in a forest when they were attacked.
In 2019, the ADF pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, further complicating the security situation in the region. In 2021, the United States added the ADF to its list of "terrorist organizations" affiliated with Daesh/ISIS. The UN envoy to Congo, Bintou Keita, recently warned the United Nation Security Council that the security situation in eastern Congo has deteriorated considerably in recent months due to violence by multiple armed groups.
In summary, the killing of ADF commander Seka Wankaba is a significant blow to the group's command and control structure. However, it is unlikely to completely eradicate the threat posed by the group, which has been active in the region for decades and continues to carry out attacks. The deteriorating security situation in eastern Congo highlights the ongoing challenges faced by the government and international community in addressing the complex and long-standing conflict in the region.
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