ADF rebels blamed for attack on peacekeepers


A Congo-based Ugandan rebel group is to blame for three attacks on United Nations peacekeepers, including one in December that killed 15 Tanzanian troops, the United Nations said.

The December 8 attack, which also killed five Congolese soldiers and wounded another 53 peacekeepers, on a UN base in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s troubled eastern border came amid a rising wave of violence in the mineral-rich area.

A special UN inquiry also looked at two other attacks on Tanzanian peacekeepers, on September 16 and October 7, 2017.

The investigation concluded “the three attacks against UN peacekeepers were carried out using a similar modus operandi and all available evidence points to the ADF as the attacker,” a United Nations statement said.

The UN peacekeeping mission, known as MONUSCO, is still searching for one peacekeeper missing after the December attack.

ADF has operated inside Congo since the 1990s. Congolese and UN troops conducted repeated offensives against it, but the group always bounced back. It is considered one of the most lethal of Congo’s dozens of armed bands.

The UN investigation “found a number of gaps in the training and posture of MONUSCO.”
“The mission did not have an actionable contingency plan to reinforce and extract its peacekeepers,” the UN said. “Issues of command-and-control, leadership and lack of essential enablers such as aviation, engineers and intelligence were major obstacles and need to be addressed urgently.”

Congo and Uganda launched an offensive against ADF in January the United Nations warned last month could force nearly 370,000 people from their homes.