The heads of the Congolese and Ugandan armies are expected in Beni to evaluate the joint operations against the ADF

The Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), Lieutenant-General Christian Tshiwewe Songesa and the Chief of Staff of the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), General Wilson Mbasu Masudi are expected this Wednesday 5 April in the town of Beni in North Kivu.

These two army chiefs will assess the joint FARDC-UPDF operations against the ADF rebels, known as Shujaa, which have been underway in the area since November 2021.

Since their launch, the Shujaa operations have made it possible to dismantle several rebel strongholds in Beni territory, particularly in the Rwenzori sector and especially in the Mwalika valley, as well as in areas straddling North Kivu and Ituri.

They also enabled the neutralisation of several ADF leaders, including the third personality of the movement, Fezza Mulalo, who was killed last February, as well as the dismantling of ADF supply networks. Following this tough hunt, many rebels fled the Ugandan borders and set up new bases in the Mambasa territory in Ituri, which enabled them to destabilise farmers on the Komanda-Mambasa axis.

Others headed for the shores of Lake Edward in the Graben. This was at the root of the outbursts in the Kyondo region, notably in Kirindera and the attack on Nguli last March, considered to be the first ADF attack in Lubero territory since the start of the massacres.

On his arrival in Beni on Wednesday, the military governor of North Kivu, Constant Ndima, acknowledged the success of these joint operations.

The evaluation of the Shujaa operations comes in a particular context, at a time when the population is calling for their expansion in the western part of the National Road Number Four (RN4), particularly on the Beni-Kisangani axis, via Komanda and Mambasa, in Irumu territory as well as in the extension of the graben, from Beni to Lubero.