A joint Ugandan and Congolese military offensive faces a new threat after attackers have copied the troops’ official army clothing and are planning to use it to raid villages in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The two sides are thinking now that the idea is to turn the locals against the armies and ruin the touted operation.
On Tuesday, the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF ) warned of possible attacks and sabotage planned by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A joint communiqué by the two armies that completed the operation on November 30th began to track down Ugandan rebels known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), said there was credible information that the group was launching an attack on Z Civilians prepared while disguised as UPDF soldiers.
Brig-General Flavia Byekwaso and Maj-General Léon Richard Kasonga, spokespersons for UPDF and FARDC respectively, said they had “re liable information about the presence of elements of an armed group in the region with sinister plans to discredit the performance of the joint armed forces in actions against the ADF rebels stationed in eastern Congo. ”
The UPDF and FARDC revealed that the rebels were using camouflage and uniforms similar to those used by the UPDF.
The rebels “planned to commit atrocities by massacring civilians in order to create the appearance that the UPDF had turned against these civilians,” the press release said .
And the two sides say the aim of the ADF is “to tarnish the reputation of the UPDF and the FARDC” while the two allied armies say that “in conducting the operations they are the Human rights and the humani Respect international law. ”
Since November, the armed forces have reported successes, including the destruction of four ADF training camps and the arrest of several masterminds who were involved in recruiting rebels as well the liberation of hostages.
But such an O The work always relied on the support of the population. If the ADF manages to launch attacks disguised as one of the armies, the soldiers fear that public trust could be destroyed, making the operation difficult.
The Ugandan military has worked hard by helping local Has built access roads and provided humanitarian aid to affected families. However, it was not clear how long the operation would take.
Originally from Uganda, ADF rebels have been hiding in eastern DRC for more than a decade, perpetrating gruesome massacres to villagers suspected of reporting on the group.
But Uganda was shaken last November when three separate explosions struck Kampala, for which the group later assumed responsibility.
Security agencies started a manhunt in Kampala and arrested several suspects, and ventured into the Democratic Republic of the Congo after President Felix Tshisekedi approved the UPDF-FARDC joint operation.