According to army officials, at least 30 soldiers were killed and another 70 were wounded in their latest offensive against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants in Beni region, North Kivu province, on Thursday, January 9. The source indicates that the army was able to take control of ADF's headquarters and also killed 40 of its militants, including five leaders. Madina was described by the army cabinet as one of the last bastions of the ADF.
Retaliated attacks by ADF militants are possible in the province in the near term.
The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias, has led to continued insecurity in the area.
The ADF is a Ugandan Islamist militant group that has been active in North Kivu province since the late 1990s. There has been local and international speculation regarding potential links between ADF rebels and Islamic State (IS) militants. According to local civil society activists, more than 200 civilians have been killed in almost daily attacks suspected to have been carried out by ADF militants in North Kivu since early November, when security operations began to combat ADF fighters.
Individuals in North Kivu province are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity, monitor developments to the situation, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.