Democratic Republic of Congo’s former president, Joseph Kabila rejected accusations from Uganda that he gave sanctuary to an Islamist rebel group and allowed it to expand and exploit mineral resources.
Kabila led Congo from 2001 to 2019.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni made the claim last week. Museveni said Kabila had allowed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State to set up large camps and also mine gold and sell timber, among other economic activities.
“The gratuitous false accusations of President Museveni, who is one of the main destabilizers in the region, are simply ridiculous and aim to distract the Congolese people and divide them,” Kabila said in a statement to Reuters.
In his statement, Kabila said his government had recognised the ADF as a terrorist organisation and kept the international community including the United Nations well informed “on the abuses perpetrated by the ADF and the need to intervene”.
“These international organizations rejected this qualification of the Congolese government of the word ‘terrorist’. It is past time that the facts have proven that Joseph Kabila was right and that it was necessary to intervene urgently, the statement read.
Founded in 1996, the ADF was originally a Ugandan rebel group, carrying out attacks around the Rwenzori region in western Uganda.
The insurgents were eventually routed and driven out and remnants fled across the border into the jungles of eastern Congo where they have since been lodged.
Fighters from the group frequently carry out killings in Congo both against civilian and military targets and also occasionally carry out attacks in Uganda.