By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The United States has offered a reward of $5 million to anyone or group with useful information that could lead to the arrest of leader of an Islamic State (IS)-affiliated militia in eastern DRC, ADF the embassy announced on Thursday in Kinshasa.
“The United States Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program offers a reward of up to $5 million for information that may lead to the identification or location of the leader” of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the embassy said in a statement.
The ADF, originally mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels, have been rooting since the mid-1990s in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. They have been accused of killing thousands of civilians.
In 2021, attacks on Ugandan soil were also attributed to Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and a joint military operation between the Congolese and Ugandan armies was launched to hunt them down in the Congolese provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.
The ADF leader, Musa Baluku a Ugandan nationality, born in 1975 or 1976 according to the State Department, 2019 made a declaration of allegiance to IS, which now presents the ADF as its branch in Central Africa.
“Under the command of Baluku, this organization continues to kill, maim, rape, abduct civilians including children…”, says the embassy of the United States.
The embassy recalls that in 2021, the State Department designated Baluku as a “Specifically Designated Global Terrorist” and the ADF as a “terrorist organization”.
Since its creation in 1984, the American Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program has “disbursed more than 250 million dollars for 125 people around the world”, she also specifies.