December 22, 2017 / 12:41 PM / a year ago

Ugandan army attacks rebel camps in eastern Congo

KAMPALA (Reuters) - The Ugandan army on Friday attacked camps in eastern Congo housing Ugandan Islamist rebels blamed for a raid this month that killed 14 United Nations peacekeepers, an army spokesman said.

The attack, carried out with air strikes and long range weapons from inside Uganda, is the first in a joint military operation by Congo and Ugandan armies against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The attack followed intelligence sharing with Democratic Republic of the Congo that indicated ADF militants were planning “hostile activities” against Uganda, army (UPDF) spokesman Richard Karemire told Reuters.

“In a pre-emptive move this afternoon, UPDF conducted attacks. They are of a limited nature on camps in DRC,” he said.

Karemire added that the army had not yet evaluated the results of the strikes but that Uganda had boosted its military presence along the border.

Uganda has justified previous military interventions in eastern Congo over the last two decades by the presence of rebel groups on Congolese soil. Congo, however, has accused its neighbour of seeking a toehold in eastern Congo to exploit its rich reserves of gold and other resources.

A spokesman for Congo’s army declined to comment on Friday’s strikes.

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Writing by Maggie Fick and Aaron Ross; Editing by Toby Chopra

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