Stop ADF Advance, North Kivu Governor Appeals To DRC Army

The governor of North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo has called on the Congolese government army to do everything possible to stop the advance of the ADF rebels.

The rebels have since last week been gaining territory from retreating Congolese soldiers and are now said to be less than 25 kilometers away from Beni.

Now Julien Paluku, the Governor of North Kivu Province, says that the situation is getting out of control and that it is high time the government forces looked for a solution to the problem instead of running away from it.

Paluku further claims that pro Al shabaab elements in the forests of the DRC have forged an alliance with the ADF rebels as well as the Mai Mai militia and made a strong force which is currently preparing an attack on Beni.

Paluku says there is need for international community and the Congolese government to mobilize quickly and stop the rebel advance adding that unless something is done, the city of Beni may fall in the hand of the armed groups.

He says that the security situation in the area is worrying and that there is need for an urgent solution to the problem.

On June 30th, the towns of Mamundioma and Totolito fell to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels who are now believed to be advancing towards the town of Beni.

The Congolese government forces have however referred to their withdrawal from the towns as tactical.

The fighting has so far claimed 16 people among them four Congolese soldiers and 14 rebel fighters.

The Congolese government spokesperson Lambert Mende says that the government will do all it can to protect its people and territory from aggression.

The ADF rebels launched a brutal insurgency against the government of Uganda between 1996 and 2002 leaving .

In 2012, Think Africa Press published an article warning that a resurgent ADF group could complicate the already delicate security situation in the Great Lakes Region. The Ugandan Army was said to be monitoring the rebel activities.

The ADF appears to have been largely dormant for the past decade after being defeated by the UPDF at the end of 2002. They engaged the Ugandan military in a brutal six-year campaign that claimed hundreds of lives and displaced thousands. Some of their brutal attacks include the burning of Kichwamba Technical College in Kabarole district in which at least 80 students were killed or abducted.

The Think Africa article warned that the continued activity of the ADF is likely to force Uganda to invade DRC again, something the UPDF have done before in 1997 before withdrawing in 2003.

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