World joins Uganda in new regional war of terror
The deadly double bombings in the Ugandan capital Kampala earlier this week drew global condemnation, with various capitals pledging to support Uganda in the fight against the resurgence of terror attacks with regional overtones.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an affiliate of the Islamic State in Central Africa, claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks that left seven people dead, including three suicide bombers, and wounded 37 others. Similar attacks were carried out in central Uganda last month, although they were on a smaller scale.
Ugandan security agencies say the attacks bear the mark of the ADF, which is entrenched in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, while briefing the country on the security situation on Saturday, said the ADF had ties with neighboring Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa.
Museveni said the ADF was taking advantage of lawlessness in eastern DRC to mine gold and chop wood, which they sold to finance their activities.
The ADF sleeper cells in Uganda, according to police here, are coordinated by their commanders in eastern DRC, which serves as the base for their operations in the region.
“According to our analysis, they attack easy targets, which are numerous and quite difficult to defend,” police said in a report released after the initial attacks late last month.
“We further established that they recruited, radicalized and researched how to build an improvised explosive device and how to carry out attacks in Uganda,” the report said, adding that the money for terrorist financing also goes through the stations. real estate service and dealers.
Museveni said his government was in talks with neighboring DRC to scale back ADF operations in the vast Central African country.
“We are discussing with the Congolese government, we will have them (ADF),” Museveni said, noting that he is also in contact with his other African counterparts to define ways to deal with the ADF.
“The presidents have contacted me from all parts of Africa and I was explaining the situation to them, and we are really going to solve this problem of ADF,” he said.
He argued that previously governments had allowed the Ugandan army to prosecute rebels who entered their territory. He cited the case of rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Ugandan group that had passed through neighboring South Sudan and later northeastern DRC. The Ugandan army pursued the rebels with the backing of the Congolese and South Sudanese governments.
The DRC government also authorized Uganda to prosecute the ADF on its territory in the late 1990s.
Museveni argued that the military now has the capacity to fight urban terrorism, which is now the new front of the ADF.
He urged ADF insurgents to surrender or face death wherever they are hiding.
“In the meantime, the public must be vigilant until they are all arrested. They will continue to pose a danger in the short term if we are not vigilant, ”the president said.