Uganda: Why ADF Targets Uganda

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Uganda’s secret and security agencies have identified three possible motives for the successive bombings in Uganda, which they attribute to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a designated terrorist group.

Officials suggested they are investigating evidence that the ADF is trying to set up a caliphate run under Sharia law, and another possibility that a foreign state is sponsoring the group to wreak havoc to sabotage Uganda’s economy.

The Islamic State or ISIS made ADF its subsidiary in 2019 and named it the Islamic State Province in Central Africa (ISCAP).

And IS confessed to the bombings on Tuesday near Central Police Station (CPS) and on Parliament Avenue, both in Kampala, in which a total of seven people were killed.

Three of the dead in Tuesday’s explosions were suicide bombers, according to police.

There is also evidence that the ADF activated its terrorist cells in the country to avenge the killing of its agents by Ugandan security following the failed assassination of General Katumba Wamala, Minister of Labor in June.

According to multiple sources, the group managed to quietly recruit children from Kyazanga and eastern Uganda and indoctrinate them in training camps in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Based in the mineral-rich province of North Kivu, ADF has flourished due to the lack of effective control by Kinshasa, according to experts familiar with regional security.

Most sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, while some refused to disclose their identities because they are either directly involved in counter-operations or investigations into the attacks.

Investigators said there was evidence that the ADF could be sponsored by other countries to sabotage Uganda’s economy.

There is also another strong indication that they want to establish a caliphate in the Sharia-ruled region.

We do not have independent confirmation of the evidence.

In an interview yesterday, police spokesman Fred Enanga said that the joint security authorities are following several leads.

“It is being investigated that there are some countries that sponsor the ADF for economic sabotage.” [in] Uganda. That’s why only Uganda is attacked in this way by these suicide bombers, “said Enanga.

Brig Flavia Byekwaso, the defense and military spokeswoman, said her research showed that the ADF’s main motive was to establish an Islamic caliphate in East Africa.

“After the ADF didn’t cancel the verdict [National Resistance Movement] Government they now have a motive to build a caliphate in the region that is subject to Sharia law, “she said yesterday.

ADF, a Uganda-born rebel group that has since turned into a terrorist group, has carried out attacks in Uganda since the early 1990s.

Her main method of attack in Kampala in the 1990s and early 2000s was to throw grenades into bars and entertainment centers while raiding schools and cities in western Uganda. Police named members of the same group as masterminds of the murder of more than a dozen Muslim sheikhs in Uganda since 2012.

ADF bases

ADF is more prevalent in eastern DRC, where it is alleged to have killed tens of thousands of people. President Museveni has made it clear that the permanent solution to the ADF threat is to attack their bases in eastern DRC. Kampala and Kinshasa are in talks over the possibility of a joint offensive or allowing Uganda to unilaterally deploy to flush out the ADF and other militias in the Congo.


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