BENI Democratic Republic of Congo (Xinhua)
-- The Congolese army have recaptured
several villages in Beni territory, east of the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DR Congo), initially occupied by a Ugandan
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 Xinhua.
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 who
spoke to Xinhua 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.