By Davis Mugabi
Congolese nationals in the areas of North Kivu, Beni territory, Karuruma, and Kalibuli village have praised the ongoing joint operation of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), code named ‘Operation Shujaa, for bringing peace and security to the area.
The nationals praised the joint efforts yesterday at Kalibuli village during a public meeting where they requested the UPDF Commander Land Forces, Lt Gen Kayanja Muhanga, to deliver their thanks to the President and Commander-in-Chief, Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and his counterpart of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, for working together to defeat the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists.
Various speakers enumerated the positive changes brought about by Operation Shujaa in their area. The Beni Territory Chief of Works, Mr. Muse Kakule, said, “There can’t be development without peace, but now with this peace, roads can now be done. We are working on the Beni-Butembo road to facilitate free and easy movements for trade and development. We thank you, UPDF and FARDC, for enabling this to happen.”
Matara Tembeya, the representative of the Beni territory Chief in Karuruma, urged his fellow Congolese to support Operation Shujaa to have total peace in their area. “UPDF and FARDC need our support; let us join them; they have done a great job. We must unite and push the terrorists out of our area.”
Lt Gen Muhanga thanked the Wannanchi for their support that has enabled the joint forces to defeat the ADF in Ituri province, especially in the areas of Tchabi, Kainama, Kambi ya Yua, Boga, Malibongo, Zunguluka, and Malulu. “We are now focusing on Mwalika Valley here; we need your full support to chase the ADF from here,” said Lt. Gen. Muhanga.
Mwalika Valley, once a stronghold of the ADF, was used for the reception and training of the ADF recruits under the watch of senior ADF commanders Amigo and Mulaalo. Mulaalo was put out of action by the joint forces early this year, while Amigo has survived several attacks narrowly. The joint forces have put their main offensive efforts in Mwalika Valley to rid the area of all terrorists.
Lt Gen Muhanga, in the company of Maj Gen Dick Olum, the overall commander of Operation Shujaa, and FARDC Senior operational commanders in North Kivu
Col Gilbert Bakavuo, task force commander of Beni, Col Munanga, the joint operations coordinator, Col Makela, and sector three commander Col Rizza Ibazza later visited the troops and tactical commanders.