A top Allied Democratic Forces commander has been captured in the Democratic Republic of Congo
According to reports, Benjamin Kisokorania was captured by the Congolese army at Uvira in the South Kivu province as he returned from neighbouring Burundi.
Kisokorania is said to be one of the original members of the Allied Democratic Forces during the times of incarcerated leader Jamilu Mukulu.
Whereas details about the arrest of the ADF commander are still scanty, the development will boost the ongoing joint operation by the UPDF and the Congolese army, FADRC targeting ADF hideouts.
The development also comes barely a week after a top ADF recruiter, Banza Madjaribu, who is also a brother of the terrorist group’s de facto commander, Imam Zakaria Banza Souleymane, also known as Bonge La Chuma.
Madjaribu is believed to have organised a recruitment network for ADF using his numerous minibuses and motorcycles, which he would reportedly use to transport recruits to Beni forest via Butembo in North Kivu.
On November 30, the joint forces launched air and artillery strikes on ADF camps in an operation code named Shuja, a Kiswahili word for bravery.
Both armies have since then overrun several ADF camps, the biggest being Kambi Ya Yua estimated to have held at least 600 fighters and measured over eight acres wide whereas several bomb making materials, a gun and a set up of a command post were recovered.
The ADF has for several years operated in the volatile North Kivu which borders other provinces including Ituri to the north and South Kivu to the South and has been a battle ground for a number of rival armed ethnic groups since 1998.
The province consists of three cities including; Goma, Butembo and Beni as well as six territories—Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rutshuru.
According to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the ADF which was designated as a terrorist group by the US government, has used the name Madina at Tauheed Wau Mujahedeen (City of Monotheism and Holy Warriors—MTM) to refer to emphasize its links to the Islamic State.
In 2019, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an ADF attack and first referenced a “Central Africa Province.”
The organization is led by Musa Baluku, who served as a senior ADF Islamic legal official before consolidating power following Mukulu’s 2015 arrest.