- The General Security Situation is calm all over the country.
The cells of saboteurs, criminal gangs and ADF sympathizers who were bent on causing insecurity through the use and acquisition of fire arms from security forces have been largely neutralised. Indeed, the appetite to acquire guns has been lost as you can realise from the subsiding attacks. Soon such acts shall history.
Progress Report On Operation Shujaa As At 15 December 2022
Operation Shujaa in the Ituri Province of the eastern part of the DRC is a joint military operation against ADF terrorists involving UPDF and FARDC (DRC) armed forces. It was launched on 30 November 2021 in a surprise UPDF Airforce, and Artillery strikes on major ADF positions and encampments in the region namely: Kambi ya Yua, Belu 1, Belu 2, and Tondoli. The Airforce and artillery strikes were swiftly followed with a ground offensive by the UPDF Mountain Division through the Bundibugyo sector under the command of the Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga, who in October 2022 was promoted to Lt. Gen. and appoPinted the Commander Land Forces UPDF. He has since been replaced by Maj. Gen. Dick Olum who is now in Command of the ongoing operations alongside our Congolese counterparts FARDC.
Initial intelligence estimates indicated that scores of terrorists were killed, and dozens of others injured in the strikes against the targeted positions. ADF abandoned their main operation base Kambi ya Yua and lost huge amounts of their logistics stores. Hundreds of other militants fled their hitherto well entrenched positions, scattering deeper into the hinterland, forests, and river valleys in a bid to evade further joint UPDF/FARDC attacks. This was the so-called ADF triangle of death composed of areas such as Mukakati, Erigeti, Kainama, Boga, Tchabi, river Semliki bridge and Burasi, to mention but a few. The ADF, one of the most violent and negative armed groups in eastern DRC, had been operating in these areas uninterrupted for 20 years, attacking FARDC positions, carrying out widescale massacres of Wanaichi in the area, looting, raping women, and girls, recruiting and indoctrinating young boys as fighters and all the while, engaging in illegal economic trade of minerals, timber, and other resources. All these terror activities have now been effectively stopped on account of unrelenting UPDF/FARDC pressure.
Operation Shujaa was launched with several operational and strategic objectives, which include among others the following:
Total pacification of Ituri Province and neighbouring regions (including Uganda) from ADF terror activities.
Severely degrade ADF capacity to make war, including cutting access to their main sources of funding.
Build effective inter-operational capabilities with our friendly forces FARDC
Promote harmonious relations amongst the peoples of DRC and Uganda especially along the common border areas.
Facilitate joint infrastructure construction works between the two countries such as roads to facilitate trade.
Create a conducive climate for regional integration at all levels.
- Significant recent events
On Sunday, 11 December 2022, a UPDF mobile force in hot pursuit decisively engaged an ADF force in Maitatu, near Tokomeka forest in the general areas of Irumu. 30 ADF militants were killed in action and eight (8) SMG rifles recovered with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Due to the military pressure, 19 ADF combatants surrendered to own forces on the same day, while the survivors fled in disarray.
Two days later, on Tuesday, 13 December 2022, an ADF splinter force of about 40 armed fighters attempted to infiltrate our operational rear areas in Bweramule sub county in Ntoroko District. Military intelligence with the aid of vigilant locals in the area quickly got wind of the group’s movements and a UPDF rapid reaction force was deployed to intercept the group. In the ensuing fire exchange, 20 ADF fighters were killed while 15 others were captured following a hot pursuit. 16 SMG rifles, 01 PK machine gun, ammunition, an assortment of improvised bomb making materials, and other items were recovered. It is suspected the five (5) other militants drowned in River Semliki while desperately fleeing back to Congo.
These two recent combat events are phenomenal achievements by the joint forces in Operation Shujaa and underscore our singular determination to eliminate the ADF once and for all. Surviving ADF remnants will not survive for too long unless they all surrender without delay because Operation Shujaa will continue for as long as necessary until all our objectives are achieved.
- Overall operational achievements
Since the launch of Operational Shujaa close one year ago, several successes have been registered:
The joint operation expanded its area of operation, which now includes three sectors:
The original sector 1 composed of Nobli-Mukakati-Semliki Bridge (Phase 1)
Sector 2 since February 2022 that includes areas of Mboga, Tchabi, and Kainama in Irumu territory (Phase 2).
Sector 3 since July 2022 in the Rwenzori sector and along the Mwalika-Kasindi-beni Road (Phase 3).
Road infrastructure projects are going on uninterrupted in the designated areas
Congolese civilians have returned to their homesteads and have now resumed normal production activities such agriculture, and other economic activities.
Vastly improved security conditions in the liberated areas
Improved mobility and trade between people in the two countries along the common border areas.
There is an excellent working relationship between the joint forces, which is quite unprecedented among regional forces on the continent.
ADF is today a significantly weakened force, low on morale, and in disarray, struggling for survival. Efforts by the militants to sow mayhem in our rear areas were decisively defeated this week. Military pressure will be maintained on the group until it is decisively defeated, and permanent peace is restored to eastern DRC.
Operation Shujaa remains firmly on track, and our two countries are working closely together to ensure its sustainability.
ADF will eventually be wiped out, it is a matter of time.
ADF remnants who still wish to live must surrender, and amnesty provisions are still available to those who are ready to reform.
Karamoja Operation ‘Usalama Kwa Wote’
- In Karamoja operations Usalama kwa Wote since 13 Jul 2021 the following have been registered:
(a) Guns recovered from warriors,652
(b) Ammos recovered from warriors,4,097
(c) Warriors Arrested,21,751
(d) Warriors Prosecuted,686
(e) L/stock (Cattle, Goats, Sheep & Donkeys) recovered,29,270
- As we go for the festive season, we want to reassure Ugandans of their safety and security and that the country in general and all its frontiers are safe and well protected.
Ugandans however should remain vigilant for any elements who may want to distablise us. In the same vein, we salute the people of Ntoroko for the recent cooperation and vigilance that saw the entire ADF elements who crossed into the country put out of action or captured alive.