DR Congo army says 4 militiamen killed, hostages released

BENI, DR Congo, Feb 12, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – DR Congo’s army said it killed four members of a notorious militia and freed four hostages in an operation in the country’s troubled east on Tuesday.

Major Mak Hazukay, the army’s spokesman in Beni, North Kivu province, said troops carried out a “counter-offensive” against an incursion by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group blamed for hundreds of civilian deaths.

“We neutralised four ADF members… and freed four hostages” in the operation, which took place at Mamove, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Beni, he said.

Troops also recovered medicines that had been looted from a clinic, as well as weapons and a motorbike, Hazukay said.

The ADF is a shadowy Islamist-rooted group that rose in western Uganda in 1995 under the leadership of Jamil Mukulu, a Christian turned Muslim. It operates in the border area in North Kivu, an area where other armed groups are also active. Mamove had until now been spared from ADF attacks.

The ADF has been blamed for recruiting and using child soldiers and killing hundreds of civilians since 2014, as well as 22 UN peacekeepers.

Over the last three months, 58 people have died in attacks attributed to the group, according to an AFP toll.