One of the founders of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist armed group of Ugandan origin, was arrested Tuesday, January 11 in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), outside the area where the armies of the two countries are carrying out operations, we learned from military sources on Wednesday.
“Benjamin Kisokeranio, officially ADF intelligence chief until 2019 and close to former ADF chief Jamil Mukulu, was arrested yesterday [mardi] in the region of Uvira, in South Kivu “, a senior Congolese military official told AFP who declined to be quoted. “He was known by our services, which followed his incessant movements in the region”, explained this source, adding that at the time of his arrest, “He held a Congolese passport”.
He was captured “Near the border with Burundi and is now in the hands of DRC forces”Ugandan army spokesman Colonel Ronald Kakurungu told AFP. According to Kampala, Benjamin Kisokeranio was in charge of intelligence, finance and logistics for the ADF.
Born in the Congolese maquis, he is the son of Bwambale Kisokeranio, founder of another secular Ugandan rebel group, the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU), which made an alliance in 1995 in the east of the DRC with Ugandan militias mainly made up of Muslims. In 2007, after negotiations with Kampala, his father and several NALU rebels returned to Uganda.
“He was making shuttles to Burundi”
Benjamin Kisokeranio, he remained in the Congolese jungle with Alilabaki Kyagulanyi (known as Jamil Mukulu) and Ugandan deputy Yusuf Kabanda (deceased), where they remained with the ADF branch, according to a former United Nations official. United Nations responsible for the repatriation of NALU rebels.
The ADF group, the deadliest in the DRC, is presented by the Islamic State organization (IS) as its branch in Central Africa (Iscap). Its current leader, Moussa Baluku, made a declaration of allegiance to this international jihadist movement in 2019. “Benjamin Kisokeranio was opposed to this decision and left the region of Beni for the neighboring province of South Kivu, from where he shuttled to Burundi, where his family lives”, the former UN official told AFP.
The Congolese and Ugandan armies have been carrying out joint military operations against ADF positions since November 30. The Congolese army carried out new strikes in the Beni region on Wednesday, an AFP correspondent noted.
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