The United States is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information that could lead to the leader of an Islamic State (IS)-affiliated militia in eastern DRC, the American embassy in Kinshasa said in a statement.
"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 its statement.
The ADF are primarily Muslim Ugandan rebels who have been operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the mid-1990s and are suspected of massacring tens of thousands of civilians.
A joint military operation between the Congolese and Ugandan armies was launched in 2021 to hunt them down in the Congolese provinces of North Kivu and Ituri after attacks on Ugandan soil were also attributed to them.
According to the State Department, their leader Musa Baluku is of Ugandan nationality and was born in 1975 or 1976.
In 2019, he swore allegiance to IS, which now lists the ADF as its branch in Central Africa.
"Under the command of Baluku, this organization continues to kill, maim, rape, abduct civilians including children...", emphasized the embassy of the United States.
She recalls that the State Department designated the ADF as a "Specifically Designated Global Terrorist" and Baluku as a "terrorist organization" in 2021.
She adds that the American RFJ program has "disbursed more than 250 million dollars for 125 people worldwide" since its founding in 1984.
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