Ugandan army conducts raid in eastern Congo targeting rebel camps

The Ugandan army on Friday conducted a raid on rebel camps in eastern Congo thought to house Ugandan Islamist rebels that are blamed for a raid earlier this month that killed 14 United Nations peacekeepers, an army spokesman said.

The attack, carried out with air strikes and long range weapons from inside Uganda, is the first in a joint military operation by Congolese and Ugandan armies against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

According to Reuters news agency, army (UPDF) spokesman Richard Karemire said the attack came on the back of intelligence sharing between the two armies that indicated ADF militants were planning “hostile activities” against Uganda.

“In a pre-emptive move this afternoon, UPDF conducted attacks. They are of a limited nature on camps in DRC,” Karemire is quoted to have said.

Karemire added that the army had not yet evaluated the results of the strikes but that Uganda had boosted its military presence along the border.

Uganda has justified previous military interventions in eastern Congo over the last two decades by the presence of rebel groups on Congolese soil. Congo, however, has accused its neighbour of seeking a toehold in eastern Congo to exploit its rich reserves of gold and other resources.

A spokesman for Congo’s army declined to comment on Friday’s strikes.