Is Islamic State really operating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo?
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: democratic-republic-of-congo;
While the US has listed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) as a terrorist group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), the relationship between the two groups remains unclear, says Jason Stearns, director of the Congo Research Group (CRG).
Is the Islamic State (IS) really operating in eastern DRC? Since April 2019, the terrorist organisation has claimed responsibility for an increasing number of attacks in the country. But the reality of its relationship and involvement alongside the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) has been the subject of fierce debate.
Washington, for its part, has come to a conclusion. On 11 March, the US authorities announced that they were placing this Ugandan armed group, which has been active in the DRC since the mid-1990s, on the list of terrorist groups affiliated with IS.
The US State Department says that “ ‘ISIS-DRC’ – or ADF, or Madina at Tauheed Wau Mujahedeen (MTM), among other names – is responsible for numerous attacks in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, in eastern DRC.”
Operating mainly in the Beni region (North Kivu), the ADF is “responsible for more civilian deaths (37%) than any other armed group”, according to the Kivu Security Tracker’s latest findings.
However, the relationship between this group and IS remains largely unclear. Although DRC’s President Félix Tshisekedi says that “the ADF subscribes to the terrorist ideology advocated by the Islamic State”, the UN Group of Experts on the DRC’s December 2020 report states that it has not been able to confirm any direct link between the two organisations.
Source: The Africa Report