United Nations experts said on Wednesday they had been unable to find evidence of direct support by Islamic State for an Islamist militia in eastern Congo, which was blacklisted in March by Washington as a terrorist group.
Experts on Central Africa have been debating whether the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), blamed for increasing violence over the past two years in eastern Congo, has genuine links with the Islamic State group based in the Middle East, sometimes known as ISIS or ISIL.
The ADF has publicly aligned itself with Islamic State, which in turn has claimed responsibility for some of its attacks. The US referred to the ADF as “ISIS-DRC” when it added it to its terrorism blacklist.
In its latest report, the UN Group of Experts on the Congo said the ADF and Islamic State both benefited from making public statements that link them with each other. Such statements were “complementing and amplifying ADF local propaganda, and suggesting increased global reach for ISIL,” the report said.