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Uganda attacks rebels accused of killing UN troops in Congo

December 22, 2017

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan forces on Friday attacked rebels accused of killing 14 United Nations peacekeepers in eastern Congo earlier this month, the military said, describing the rebels as “terrorists” who were planning more attacks.

The ongoing assault is based on shared intelligence with Congolese officials and is a pre-emptive measure against the Allied Democratic Forces, military spokesman Brig. Richard Karemire told The Associated Press.

The rebels “were planning to conduct hostile activities against Uganda,” he said.

Ugandan forces were carrying out aerial bombardments and firing “long-range weapons” but troops haven’t entered Congo. It is not clear how many rebels have been killed or injured, Karemire said.

The Dec. 7 attack on a U.N. base that killed peacekeepers from Tanzania was the deadliest single assault on a peacekeeping mission in almost 25 years. The U.N. has vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The ADF originated in Uganda as a rebel force against the government and carried out deadly bombings in the 1990s. A military campaign forced them to relocate to eastern Congo, where they have been blamed for many attacks targeting civilians.

The group originally said it opposed what it called the marginalization of Ugandan Muslims. While the fighters are mainly Muslim, experts say there are no proven links between the rebels and other extremist organizations in Africa.

Dozens of armed groups operate in eastern Congo, fighting over control of vast mineral resources.

The ADF’s leader, Jamil Mukulu, was arrested in Tanzania and extradited in 2015 to face trial in Uganda, where he faces multiple murder charges.

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