Suspected Allied Democratic Forces-ADF rebels have attacked a DRC army position and a police base in Nobili town and freed more than 20 prisoners. At least four people, including a child and a pregnant woman, were reported killed by gunshots and an ensuing stampede as people tried to flee.
Nobili is the transit point for Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF which is undertaking a joint operation with DRC forces to flush ADF rebels out of their bases. Attacks in the area started on Wednesday night when the group killed dozens of civilians in Kamango and Njapande in Nobili County leaving thousands fleeing into Uganda through Bundibugyo District.
Pascal Mbili Bhalitusuka, in charge of the administrative area of Watalinga in Nobili County, said the armed rebels freed all the detainees in the jail and left with them into the bush. Bhalitusuka, however, says he doesn’t know if the aim of the attack was to free the prisoners.
The Mountain Division spokesperson Maj. Peter Mugisa told URN on Thursday evening, that UPDF troops from Busunga border post in Bundibugyo District using motorized infantry vehicles moved in quickly and repulsed the groups as they attempted to break into a pharmacy in Nobili.
“With our superior firepower, the terrorist ran away.” Maj. Mugisa said. He, however, says that despite these attacks the two-month-old joint operation is succeeding. He says the rebels are using deceptive tactics so that UPDF/FADRC forces can be drawn to protect the borderlines as they continue with their heinous acts in the Virunga forest.
One of the asylum seekers intimated to our journalist that two of the prisoners in her neighbourhood managed to run away after the rebels broke the cells.
Information obtained by URN also indicates that the rebels also raided Balu in Djungu territory, Ituri Province and invaded an IDP camp of Bahema tribe killing more than 60 of them. DR Congo imposed martial law in North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province last year and began joint operations with Uganda’s army in November against the ADF.
Prison breaks are fairly common in DRC. In 2020 armed men suspected of belonging to the ADF freed more than 1,300 prisoners in the eastern city of Beni.
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