According to Reuters, this past Friday ten Islamic militants were found dead along with five civilians in an ambush gone wrong. The Ugandan armed group also is known as The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), has been operating out of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for several decades. The figures from the United Nations state that ADF is responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 civilians since the start of 2019.

An army spokesman, Anthony Mwalushyai, said the most recent attack was Sunday, August 30th close to the town of Mbau, which ended with six Congolese soldiers wounded. The Congolese army had secured the area, only to add eight more casualties. The DRC is in a serious security struggle with constant militia ambushes. Members of these rebel groups are not only attacking the military, they are also taking hostages and killing civilians; including both women and children.

These events are not the first of their kind, late last year, the Congolese army launched a warning/offensive against the ADF which has ignited this violent outbreak on civilians. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, these rebel groups have forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. Interestingly enough, the Islamic State has claimed many of the attacks by the ADF as their own, but research has concluded a lack of evidence to correlate these groups.

The DRC is still recovering from a series of conflicts that broke out in the 1990s. After several postponements of the presidential elections, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo—the son of Etienne Tshisekedi, the country’s long-standing opposition leader—won the December 2018 election, succeeding Joseph Kabila who had been at the country’s helm for 18 years. These brutal attacks by rebel groups make the Democratic Republic of Congo a high risk political and economic country. The COVID-19 outbreak is expected to trigger an economic recession which will add to the severe human rights struggles etc. The DR of Congo is a prime example of a country battling internal security struggles.

Alexis Rudisel