Tension As ADF rebels Advance towards Beni

Tensions are high in the towns of Beni and Oicha in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the advance of the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) rebels towards the towns.
According to the Teddy Kataliko, the president of the Beni Civil Societies, the rebels have moved 25 kilometres within reach of Beni and about 20 Kilometres from the towns of Mamundioma and Totolito.

Kataliko says that since Sunday 30th of June the rebels have been making slow and steady advances towards the town of Beni and Oicha.

Kataliko says that the rebels are now 5 kilometres away from Oicha and 25 kilometres from Beni while the government forces are also retreating.

Civil society sources indicate that since Sunday evening a group of Ugandan rebels have positioned themselves near Kangwayi-Palmba, village located 25 km from the town of Beni and 5 km from the city of Oicha.

He adds that another rebel group has taken control of the area near Masulukwede which is about three kilometres from Mavivi airport the base of the MONUC troops.

Teddy Kataliko says that they have been reliably informed that the ADF are   preparing an attack on Beni, Oicha and Mbau.

However Colonel Richard Bhatt, the interim Commander of the first sector of the Congolese government forces based in Beni, says that the forces are in full control of the area.

On Sunday, the ADF rebels seized control of the towns of Mamundioma and Totolito which are located about 45 kilometres from Beni.

The Congolese government forces have however referred to their withdrawal from the towns as tactical.

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