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DR Congo army recaptures villages held by Ugandan rebels

The Congolese army have recaptured several villages in Beni territory, east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), initially occupied by a Ugandan rebel group.

On Sunday, an army unit patrolled through Kambi ya Miba, Totolito and Mbau villages, over 40 kilometers northeast of Beni town, a security source told.

"Everyone agrees there is security in the concerned villages and people are now free to move as they wish. We managed to chase away the Ugandan terrorist group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF)," said Colonel Yanyi Kasongo, the commander of the army unit fighting the rebel group in the area.

In Kambi ya Miba village, normalcy has been restored, with shops opening as usual and public transport vehicles moving as always.

"To recapture this village, we lost about 70 officers in a single day in the battle against the ADF Islamists," colonel Kasongo continued, adding that "this war is asymmetric, since we do not know the exact strategy of our enemy."

Following a heavy offensive by FARDC, the ADF rebels retreated and decided to hide in the forest. The rebels had set up their main operation base in the village about four months ago.

The group was forcing local populations as well as traders heading to Beni town to pay taxes.

A local resident said security had been restored but government had to do more to protect the population.

"Now we have peace which is the basis of our development, we urge the government to construct hospitals and schools to guarantee our future," said Jean-Marie Kakule, a resident of Kambi ya Miba village.

On Aug. 14, 2016, after over 50 people were massacred by ADF in Beni territory, Congolese President Joseph Kabila said the kind of attacks that were being witnessed in eastern DR Congo were similar to the terrorist attacks in Belgium and France.

To restore peace in Beni territory where over 600 people have been killed by the Ugandan ADF rebels since October 2014, the Congolese government deployed soldiers in the area to fight the rebels.


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