US Offers up to $5M Reward for Leader of DR Congo ADF Militia

The United States announced a reward of up to $5 million on Thursday for information leading to the capture of the leader of the ADF militia, which is primarily active in DR Congo.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is one of the deadliest armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a volatile region that has been plagued by violence for decades.

The militia — which the Islamic State group claims as its central African affiliate — has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in Uganda.

On Thursday, the US embassy in Kinshasa said it was offering up to $5 million for information leading to the reward of ADF leader Seka Musa Baluku.

Under his leadership, the militia “kills, maims, rapes, and commits other sexual violence and engages in abduction of civilians, including children,” the embassy said.

Baluku is a Ugandan national, according to the US State Department, who is likely in his late 40s.

In 2021, the United States officially linked the ADF to the Islamic State group and added it to its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The militia has continued to carry out deadly attacks in eastern Congo, particularly in the neighboring provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.

On January 15, suspected ADF operatives detonated a bomb in a church in North Kivu, for example, killing at least 14 people and injuring another 63.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi placed North Kivu and Ituri in a “state of siege” in 2021, replacing civilian administrators with military and police personnel in a bid to stem the violence.

The DRC and Uganda also launched a joint offensive that year to drive the ADF out of their Congolese strongholds, but the measures have so far failed to defeat the group.

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