DR Congo army kills top Ugandan rebel leader

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s army said Saturday it killed one of the top leaders of a Ugandan rebel group, hours after rebels killed 13 civilians.

“Congolese soldiers killed Mouhamed Mukubwa– one of the top leaders of the Allied Democratic Forces [ADF] group during fighting on Friday in Mapobu [forest]”, army spokesman Richard Kasonga said on Twitter about the clash in North Kivu province’s in the Beni region.

The killing of one of the three top ADF leaders demonstrated the army’s capacity to end rebellion in the area, Kasonga said, according media reports.

Mukubwa’s death comes weeks after another senior commander of the group, Nasser Abdullayi Kikuku, was killed.

More than 100 civilians have been killed in attackers since Nov. 5 in the Beni area, according to authorities.

The latest attack took place Friday, killing 13 people in Kukutama, a village about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Oicha, local authorities said.

Another 28 people were killed Wednesday in Oicha.

Earlier last Sunday, eight people were killed and nine kidnapped in the Masiani district of eastern North Kivu province’s Beni area, sparking angry protests where residents stormed UN facilities in the northeastern border of Beni.

Protestors accuse UN peacekeeping force MONUSCO and government forces of failure to protect civilians.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, UN Under-Secretary General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix arrived in Beni, where he met with Congolese military forces and visited MONUSCO base.

“It is important to be here in solidarity with the people of Congo and humanitarian colleagues. We will draw lessons to what has happened and reinforce our partnership. We need to investigate on what has happened. There should be no impunity,” he said in comments posted on Twitter by MONUSCO.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi this week announced joint operations between Congolese and UN forces in Beni following the protests.

The UN mission had in recent days argued it could not participate in Congolese military operations without being invited, and it could not conduct operations unilaterally in a region where Congo’s military is already active.