On Sunday August 15, President Félix Tshisekedi authorized American anti-terrorism experts, who arrived two days earlier in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to support the Congolese army in its mission to fight against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group presented by the Islamic State (IS) as its branch in Central Africa, we learned from the Congolese presidency.
These American special forces are tasked with“Provide support to the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) in the fight against terrorism and to the wardens of the Virunga and Garamba national parks, which have become the sanctuary of terrorist forces”, explains the press release from the presidency, specifying that this mission must last ” Several weeks “. The very active American Ambassador in Kinshasa, Mike Hammer, who led the military delegation to President Tshisekedi, recalled that it was about the implementation of the privileged partnership for peace signed by the DRC and the United States. in 2019.
Originally, the ADF were Ugandan Muslim rebels who wanted to oust President Yoweri Museveni from power. But they have taken root for nearly thirty years in eastern DRC, where they are accused of being responsible for the massacres of more than 6,000 civilians since 2013, according to a report by the Congolese episcopate. Since April 2019, some of their attacks have been claimed by ISIS. The United States placed them in March on the list of “Terrorist organizations” affiliated with the jihadist organization.
The Congolese provinces of North Kivu and Ituri have been placed under siege since May 6 to fight against armed groups which terrorize civilians. President Félix Tshisekedi replaced civilian authorities there with army and police officers.