* Uganda pledges to share intelligence with Congo
* Rebels blamed for December massacre in eastern Congo
KINSHASA Jan 13 Senior Congolese and Ugandan
military officials met on Monday to discuss plans to target
Ugandan Islamist rebels blamed for a spate of attacks including
a massacre of 21 villagers in eastern Democratic Republic of
The ADF-NALU rebels have stepped up attacks in the chaotic
central African region this year and been identified by the U.N.
mission in Congo (MINUSMA) as one of the main obstacles to peace
in the country.
U.N.-backed government forces scored a rare victory in
November against Tutsi-dominated M23 rebels, but sporadic
violence by ADF-NALU points to the unrelenting challenge of
pacifying Congo's mineral-rich east.
Officials said Uganda's chief of defence forces, General
Katumba Wamala, met Congolese counterpart Didier Etumba in the
town of Beni in Congo's North Kivu province, where Kinshasa was
launching military operations against the rebels.
Although the Ugandan government has said that ADF-NALU is
allied to elements of Somalia's al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab
movement, Kampala will stop short of directly participating in
military operations in Congo, a Ugandan army spokesman said.
"Rather, we have had discussions to the effect that we'll
only help in sharing intelligence with FARDC (Congolese army)
and also deal with any fleeing ADF elements who might want to
enter Uganda," Paddy Ankunda told Reuters.
After the defeat of the M23 rebels, the United Nations said
it would use its 3,000-strong Special Intervention Brigade and
other troops to help Congo's army hunt down other armed groups.
ADF-NALU is reported to have up to 1,400 fighters and has
kidnapped about 300 Congolese civilians over the past year,
according to the U.N. Intervention Brigade.
Congolese officials hold the group responsible for the
killing of at least 21 people, including women and a baby, in
villages not far from Beni in December.
(Reporting by Bienvenu-Marie Bakumanya and Elias Biryabarema;
Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Emma Farge/Mark Heinrich)