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Uganda launches cross-border operation into DRC

The Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) announced on 30 November that it had begun a joint operation with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) against the Allied Defence Forces (ADF) group.

In a statement it said it had used air and artillery fire to attack ADF positions and that “operations against the terrorists will continue as we look for other targets of opportunity during ground operations”.

UPDF spokesperson Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso told Ugandan TV later that day that the operation would go on for as long as it took for the ADF to be “completely wiped out”, although she noted that it would have to be approved by parliament within 21 days.

Ugandan TV showed troops with BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles and Plasan SandCat light armoured vehicles preparing to move into the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Nobili border crossing. The UPDF was not previously known to operate SandCats, at least one of which had a weapon mounted on its rear bed that was covered up but may have been the Elbit Spear MK2 automatic mortar.

FARDC spokesperson Patrick Muyaya Katembwe confirmed that the UPDF was operating in conjunction with its Congolese counterpart.

The ADF is an originally Ugandan Islamist group that sometimes presents itself as the regional branch of the Islamic State , which claimed responsibility for three suicide bombings in Kampala on 16 November.

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