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Military justice probes ADF commanders over Beni bomb attack

In-Box restaurant bomb attack.

Kampala, Uganda  | THE INDEPENDENT | The Beni-Butembo Garrison Military prosecutor’s office in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has opened up investigations against certain Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) Commanders accused of planning and ordering a bomb attack at In-Box restaurant-bar in the city of Beni, North Kivu province, on Christmas day.

The attack happened at around 8pm at the bar located at Boulevard Nyamwisi, the main artery of the city of Beni, west of Virunga National Park and the Rwenzori Mountains, on the edge of the Ituri forest, which left eight people dead and 20 seriously injured. The attack targeted revellers who had gathered to celebrate Christmas.

The dead included the suicide bomber who detonated the bomb, a captain of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and two of his daughters. Among the injured were two deputy mayors. The wounded are still being treated at Beni General Referral Hospital and at the Nyankunde Evangelical Medical Center.

Constant Ndima, the military governor of the province of North-Kivu says that the accused ADF commanders include three Ugandans identified as Moussa Seka Baluku, the Commander-in-Chief of the rebels, and others he only identified as Kahiri and Difenda. They are working with several DRC nationals.

This was declared the day after the country’s prime minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge chaired a security meeting in Beni city. While reaffirming the determination of his Government to put an end to ADF activism in northeastern DRC, Lukonde called on the local population to denounce the ADF activities.

“We also want to send the population a message to remain vigilant at this end of the year period so that together, with our security services with which we are united, we can meet this security challenge. Vigilance at all times, especially reporting as soon as there is an abnormal event that is seen, it must absolutely be reported,” he said.

Meanwhile, a gradual return of the population is being observed in the chiefdom of Bashu in Beni since the launch of military operations by the Congolese and Ugandan armies in the region. According to the provincial deputy Saidi Balikwisha, the residents of Bashu, mostly farmers, are gradually starting to return to their places of origin. He says that attacks by ADF rebels had forced them to flee.

North-Kivu and Ituri provinces are at the center of violent conflict opposing terror groups to the military. Since November 30, the Congolese and the Ugandan armies have joined forces to track down and stop terrorists.



One comment

  1. Both DRC and Uganda should put in much effort to end the rebellion.

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