There are foreign fighters operating in the ranks of the ADF-NALU, a group of militants originally rooted in a rebel movement to overthrow Uganda’s government, but forced to re-locate over the border into North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), reports Fides.

On 16 October, a UN report said it has found no link between the ADF and other foreign terrorist groups. But according to the Study Center for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO by its French acronym), such findings do not correspond to reality.

”This statement appears absurd when there are a hundred members of the ADF that are captured and are Somali, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Rwandan, Sudanese Islamists. It is curious that the panel of experts has remained silent on this reality,” CEPADHO said.

ADF has been carrying out murders of local people, far from the attention of most of the world’s major media. Attacks including murder, looting, abduction and rape are carried out on an almost weekly basis in most of the DRC, and particularly in Beni, a predominantly Christian area.

Local bishops have repeatedly denounced the resurgence of violence still carried out in the name of ADF-NALU, but which has now taken the form of a jihadist organisation called Muslim Defense International.

According to the Catholic aid agency, Aid to the Church in Need, the emergence of the jihadists in eastern DRC is linked to UN peacekeeping forces: “It is alleged that some members of the Mission of the UN Organisation for the Stabilization of DR Congo are fundamentalist Muslims from Pakistan who in their spare time are setting up Quranic schools and working on mosque construction sites.”