Kasese, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Two foreign tourists, and a Ugandan guide, tragically killed during a violent assault suspected to have been carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels. The incident unfolded in the scenic surroundings of Queen Elizabeth National Park, around Lake Nyamunanuka in Kasese district located in the southwestern region of Uganda.
This heartbreaking development was officially confirmed on Tuesday 17, October 2023 by both a Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) official and the Uganda Police Force.
Bashir Hangi, serving as the spokesperson for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), told the Kampala Dispatch that the assailants targeted and subsequently set ablaze the vehicle transporting the tourists, situated just beyond the boundaries of Queen Elizabeth National Park. He also shared that security agencies are diligently engaged in efforts to identify and apprehend the culprits responsible for this deeply distressing act.
Uganda Police spokesman Fred Enanga said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) that the extremist rebels, usually based in eastern Congo (ADF) had carried out the “cowardly terrorist attack,” adding that the security forces “responded immediately upon receiving the information and are aggressively pursuing the suspected ADF rebels.”
“We have registered a cowardly terrorist attack on two foreign tourists and a Ugandan in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The three were killed, and their safari vehicle burnt. Our joint forces responded immediately upon receiving the information and are aggressively pursuing the suspected ADF rebels. We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” Enanga said.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a clandestine rebel organization with its origins in Uganda, has extended its operations to a lawless region in eastern DR Congo. Notably, the ADF has forged connections with the Islamic State group.
Situated in a remote locale close to the Congo border, Queen Elizabeth National Park stands as one of Uganda’s most renowned conservation areas.
Incidents of this nature are infrequent within this East African nation. This occurrence transpires amid ongoing efforts by Ugandan forces (UPDF) to pursue the ADF deep within the Congolese territory. The ADF occasionally executes cross-border assaults, with a notable instance being an attack in June when the group was accused of perpetrating a mass killing, resulting in the tragic deaths of at least 41 individuals, predominantly students, in a raid on an isolated Ugandan community near the border.
The ADF has consistently opposed the leadership of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has held authority in the East African nation since 1986 and is a key security partner of the United States.
The group’s formation traces back to the early 1990s, initiated by Ugandan Muslims who felt marginalized by Museveni’s policies. During its inception, the rebels conducted deadly attacks in Ugandan villages and the capital, including a harrowing incident in 1998 in which 80 students were ruthlessly massacred in a border town.