Ugandan, DRC Forces Launch Airstrikes Against ADF Rebels In Congo


Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) on Tuesday captured a top Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) commander, Benjamin Kisokeranio. ;

The Rwenzori Mountain Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) dvision spokesperson, Maj. Peter Mugisa, said Kisokeranio, who heads Mukulu’s faction, was captured at Uvira while he was attempting to sneak into the DRC from Burundi. ;

He had reportedly gone for treatment after being injured in the ongoing anti-ADF offensive by the UPDF and their Congolese counterpart, the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC). ;

“Confirmed, he (Benjamin) was arrested this (Tuesday) morning while crossing from Burundi to DRC at Uvira border, south Kivu,” Maj. Mugisa said. ;

That is so far the highest value target that the joint forces have now achieved, he said. ;

Kisokeranio, who heads the Jamil Mukulu ADF faction, military sources said. ;

The arrest of Kisokeranio comes against the backdrop of a recent launch of phase two of operation Shujaa, almost two months since UPDF and FARDC launched joint operations against ADF last year in November, with dawn bombardments of four key ADF camps in Kambi Ya Yua, Tondoli, Belu 1 and Belu 2 in eastern Congo. ;

The November 30 bombings of ADF camps left the ADF top echelon disintegrated, with Baluku reportedly wounded, according to reports. ;

Intelligence reports say Baluku has since handed over the ADF command to Bonge La Chuma aka Zakaria Banza Souleymane, a Congolese. ;

The other ADF commanders on wanted list and are believed to be hiding in Virunga Forest include Nasser Adbu Hamid Diiru, Elias Segujja aka Fezza, Sheikh Lumisa and Abdulrahman Wasswa aka PC Sentongo. ;

One of the camps, Kambi Ya Yua, which was the main base for ADF and Islamic Central Africa Province (ISCAP), was on Christmas Eve completely taken over by UPDF and FARDC forces. ;

“In just a week after the launch of phase two of operation Shujaa, 18 ADF rebels were killed, seven captured hostages freed. Baluku has been badly injured. The new ADF leader, Bonge La Chuma, will also face the same,” a military insider said. The arrest of Kisokeranio also comes at the time when a top ADF recruiter, Banza Madjaribu, a relative of Bonge La Chuma, was arrested by the joint forces of UPDF and FARDC in Virunga jungles near Beni in North Kivu. ;

The spokesperson of Operation Shujaa, Maj. Peter Mugisa, told New Vision that Kisokeranio was also badly wounded in one of the airstrikes mounted against ADF by the joint forces. ;

“That is so far the highest value target that the joint forces have now achieved,” Mugisa said, adding that leads on the exact location of Bongo La Chuma have also been established. ;

In his update on the ongoing joint operation in the jungles of the DRC, Mugisa said the forces had on January 7 come across three graves northwest of Kambi Ya Yua.

“These are suspected to have been put out of action during the combined airforce and artillery bombardment on November 30, 2021,” ; the Operation Shujaa spokesperson said. ;

He added: “The discovery suggests that as we continue with the combing operation, we shall discover more.” Mugisa added that the ADF terrorists could have been behind the recent burning of a fuel tanker at Bulongo on the Kasindi-Beni road. ;

“The driver and his turnboy are suspected to have been abducted. This and other atrocities committed by ADF indicate that the remnants have the capability to attack soft targets,” he said, calling on the public to be vigilant. ;

“The ADF are still armed and dangerous too, especially for defenceless civilians in the villages. We urge the public in the two countries to actively support this effort and increase popular vigilance,” he added, noting that ADF rebels are now fleeing into Mt. Rwenzori through the Congolese slopes of Kikingi, Mwenda and Mutwanga. ;

“Others are in Eringeti triangle villages of Mamove, Bango forest, Bumbli, Kitcubo, Matungulu valley, Batonga, Tondoli and Mwalika in Irumu territory, Ituri province. Their movements have been sighted in Komanda, Monthoyo, Malibongo, Mambasa, Biakato and Magina,” Maj. Mugisa said.

Who is Benjamin Kosokeranio? ;

Benjamin Kisokeranio was previously in charge of intelligence, finances and supplies within ADF. ;

“He was in charge of all logistics and supplies, which he procured from the Great Lakes Region and a number of overseas countries,” a reliable source told ;New Vision. ;

Kisokeranio, a Mukonzo whose family hails from Kitholhu sub-county, Kasese district, Uganda, is considered a National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU)/ADF historical. ;

Benjamin Kisokeranio is one of the four sons Fenehasi Bwambale Kisokeranio, a former leader of the NALU, that was formed in 1989 by former Obote II spy chief Amon Bazira, to fight the Museveni regime. Bazira was killed in Kenya in 1993. ;

NALU eventually merged with the ADF, until the former brokered a peace agreement with the Ugandan government, which saw some abandon the bush war and return home. ;

Kisokeranio, who grew up in the bush, decided to stay behind with the ADF, converted to Islam and started acting as a go-between for the ADF/NALU and their benefactors in Hassan al-Bashir’s Sudan. ;

Working with Hassan al-Turabi, an influential hard-line politician in Sudan, Kisokeranio reportedly helped facilitate the first transfer of weapons from Sudan to the ADF in the mid-1990s. While in Sudan, he also received training in improvised explosive devices (IEDs). ;

However, the Sudanese government later withdrew its support. He transitioned to being one of Jamil Mukulu’s guards and helping with the ADF’s finances and was often the one trusted with communicating Jamil’s orders to the rest of the group. ;

“He was trusted with helping to bring two of Jamil’s sons from Kenya to the ADF camps,” a source told ;New Vision. ;

He was part of the faction led by the ADF overall commander, Musa Baluku, the ADF judge and hangman, after Mukulu’s arrest in 2015. ;

He later broke away from the Baluku group after a bitter power struggle that resulted in him relocating to Bukavu where he formed his own force which was more allied to jailed Mukulu. After the defeat of the ADF from Uganda in 2001, Demba and Kikwangwa Kisokeranio abandoned the rebellion, leaving Fenehasi and Benjamin behind and were pardoned and even joined the UPDF. ;

This was after President Yoweri Museveni signed the Presidential Amnesty law in January 2000 pardoning from prosecution all surrendering rebels, who included Lord’s Resistance Army fighters under Joseph Kony. ;

When Mukulu was arrested in Tanzania and handed to Uganda in 2015, Demba and Kikwangwa Kisokeranio, both brothers of Benjamin Kisokeranio, tried to convince their father Fenahasi Kisokeranio to surrender in vain, However, their aging and ailing father, later abandoned the bush war and returned home where he lives freely.

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