Thursday, December 26, 2013

DR Congo: The ADF - " If you wish to defeat an enemy, first clearly identify him."

The UN reports

UN peacekeepers respond to Ugandan rebel attack in eastern DR Congo
                                                                      Congolese nationals fleeing after ADF attack

26 December 2013 – United Nations peacekeepers in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) yesterday helped the national armed forces retake control over a town following an attack by a Ugandan rebel group that left dozens dead and displaced many more.

Readers of this blog will be aware that both the ADF and the FDLR are very likely to be the next targets of the combination of FARDC ( Congolese Army ), the Intervention ( Africa Brigade ) and its parent MONUSCO. It is difficult to understand the thinking behind this attack. It will be interesting to see if this is part of a coordinate move and if the FDLR will now start causing problems.

In the early hours of Wednesday, the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-Nalu) attacked positions of the Congolese national armed forces (FARDC) in the town of Kamango, according to the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUSCO).

That they did this on Christmas day is also worth noting. This was a very deliberate move however I can't see any motive that makes a lot of sense. Any challenge to FARDC will be seen as a challenge to the Intervention Brigade and by extension MONUSCO and the UN.

The rebels captured the location after brief clashes, during which they reportedly burnt a number of houses and abducted some 50 people. According to initial reports, six FARDC troops were killed and seven wounded during the operations, while the number of ADF rebels killed is yet to be confirmed.

Any political credibility that the ADF had is now gone. The villagers killed and kidnapped are a testimony to the criminal nature of this group. Uganda quite properly will be demanding that the DR Congo and MONUSCO act forcefully against the ADF. Given that Uganda often has to provide a refuge to the displaced Congolese civilians I would imagine that they will now press for the elimination of the ADF. 

At least seven civilians were also reported to have lost their lives and eight more wounded, the UN said. Up to 150,000 civilians were displaced, while some 2,000 reportedly crossed the border seeking refuge in Uganda.

“MONUSCO strongly condemns these attacks and reassures that it will be using all its aerial and ground assets available to protect the civilians and will reinforce its presence in the area,” it stated.

The only effective way to protect civilians is to eliminate the ADF. 

In accordance with its mandate to protect civilians, MONUSCO supported the FARDC during the operation against the rebel group, including through the use of its attack helicopter, the provision of logistical support and medical evacuations.

The Mission noted that the FARDC has successfully taken over positions in Kamango and is currently in control of the situation.

The ADF  it has been reported outnumbered the FARDC soldiers but they were never going to be able to hold the ground. They apparently managed to get hold some FARDC weapons but as a motive it would seem to be a losing tactic.    

" A Congolese source based in Kasindi, told New Vision that the attackers, whose numbers could not immediately be established, struck and looted assorted weapons from the Congolese before retreating back into the eastern DRC Rwenzori jungles."

“The Mission is determined to fulfil its mandate of tracking down and neutralizing all armed groups elements that spread fear and desolation among innocent civilians.”

The Ugandan army it would seem are less than impressed by the ADF.

“Should the ADF dare us, we are very prepared to deal with them,” Major Kakurungu warned. (Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) 2nd Division spokesperson, Major Ronald Kakurungu ) 

In March, the Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within MONUSCO to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese national army, against armed groups that threaten peace in eastern DRC.

M23 despite losing had alternatives when everything turned to custard, the only alternative I can see for the ADF is to join up with the Seleka clowns in the Central African Republic and die a bit later there rather than dying in the DR Congo in the near future. The account for this Christmas Day atrocity will be settled in full.


  1. African Arguments has published the leaked December UN DR Congo Experts report. The ADF are clearly a huge threat and they will almost certainly be the next group to be eliminated. Politically I thought it would be the FDLR but the ADF have leapfroged them. The ADF deserve some extra special treatment, FARDC & the Intervention Brigade should not accepted surrender. These pricks need to be taken out as in out of the condition of life.

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