Op Shujaa hamstringing ADF in eastern DR Congo

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Operation Shujaa, “hero” or “warrior” in Swahili, is a joint effort “degrading the capacity of the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) to cause war” in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The phrase is attributed to Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) Major General Dick Olum. The two-star commands the joint FARDC (DRC Armed Forces)/UPDF operation as well as being commander of the UPDF Mountain Division.

One part of the “degrading capacity” is the recent seizure of 9 500 rounds of ADF ammunition. A UPDF statement has Olum saying: “The ADF will soon be in the books of the past. We reduced their capacity to cause war, we depleted their manpower and their weaponry and their morale is at its lowest”.

Other successes in the anti-ADF operation, concentrated in eastern DRC, include 548 ADF “terrorists” ‘put out of action’ according to the UPDF. Included are 50 captured and 31 who surrendered. Weapons recovered number 151, including 142 submachine guns (SMG), eight PKM machine gun parts and a 60 mm mortar component. Also recovered were 111 military radios, 45 radio charger ports and 10 batteries.

To date the joint force rescued 156 people including women and children. The children, most in bad health, are receiving medical care from and at UPDF health facilities.

Olum said the figures were only for UPDF and excluded confiscations/recoveries by Congolese forces. “FARDC has weapons and equipment captured from ADF in DRC, so the figures could be double,” he said.

Elaborating, he pointed out “for ADF put out of action, we only count dead bodies. Those we fight who and ran away into the wild to die are excluded. Therefore, each figure could be double what we have as UPDF”.