Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group, which is Islamist in its ideology and operates in both DR Congo and Uganda, had been holding the civilians. Some of the former hostages, which included women and children, were abducted from different villages in different locations.
Describing her escape from the rebel group, one of the victims, Kathungu Syaseya, said the soldiers arrived while they were in the middle of praying. She said the soldiers were firing several bullets, which allowed them to flee.
After the destruction of their camps, the ADF rebels dispersed even further into areas not covered by the coalition forces, allowing them to attempt to re-group.
Civil society organisations are calling on the government in Kinshasa to review the convention with Uganda in order to widen the area of intervention of the FARDC-UPDF joint operations.
Noëlla Katongerwaki of the Collective of Women’s Action for the Vulnerable, called for the rebels to be prosecuted and prevented from massacring people and for these offensives to pursue the enemy wherever they hide.
She also called for these operations to be carried out even on the other side of the main road, national road number 4.
The ADF began its insurgencies by first attacking the Ugandan government in 1995. It then began to fight in DR Congo. It’s believed to have killed around 700 civilians and has also fought with UN peacekeeping soldiers.