UPDF warns of infiltration of ADF terrorists into Ugandan territory

Ugandan army warns of ADF rebel attack, calls for calm amid terror threat
Col Deo Akiiki, the Deputy UPDF Spokesperson addressing the media at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Uganda.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) have released a public warning, urging the populace to remain vigilant against possible terror attacks orchestrated by ADF militants. This cautionary measure follows intelligence reports indicating a fresh infiltration of ADF operatives into Ugandan territory.

The alert is a response to the culmination of recent collaborative efforts between the UPDF and FARDC (Armed Force of the Democratic Republic of Congo) which resulted in the dispersal of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) elements into the dense jungles of the DRC. Consequently, the ADF has initiated retaliatory actions in response to these military operations.

In October 2023, Uganda witnessed a surge in violence orchestrated by ADF terrorists who infiltrated the nation via the Kasese district. Under the leadership of Kamusi and Njovu, this group carried out attacks that resulted in casualties among tourists, students, and traders.

Following subsequent operations, Kamusi was eliminated, and Njovu was apprehended, currently undergoing trial.

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ADF rebel commander Rashid Abdul Kyoto alias Njovu was arrested in an operation by the UPDF Marine Forces on Lake Edward. Two of his associates were shot dead and others managed to escape in a boat with their weapons.

Despite these setbacks, recent intelligence indicates the infiltration of another faction led by Ahamed Muhamood Hassan, also known as Abu Waqas, a Tanzanian ADF bomb expert. His associates, including Muhammed Issa, Amigo Kibirige, Muhamad Lumisa, and Nasser Hamid Diiru, are believed to have joined him. “One of them is suspected to have been sent by Abu Waqas for the current mission,” notified Col. Deo Akiiki.

This development has spurred heightened vigilance among security agencies, with the UPDF and other sister agencies placed on high alert. Col. Deo Akiiki, the Deputy Spokesperson of the UPDF, stressed the significance of citizen cooperation in identifying and reporting suspicious activities or individuals.

He underscored the ADF’s persistent intent to instigate terror attacks in Uganda, particularly in urban areas, places of worship, schools, and public gatherings. Akiiki reassured the public of ongoing efforts by security forces to apprehend the infiltrators and thwart further violence.

“It is simply suicidal for these terrorists to continue making terrorism ventures into Uganda,” Col. Akiiki remarked.

The UPDF continues its operations against the ADF in eastern DRC, working closely with the FARDC. Plans to deploy local vigilante groups to combat ADF violence are being considered, with strategies being exchanged between Uganda and the DRC to address the cross-border threat.

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“We are sharing all plans with our counterparts, including some of the proposals the two heads of state (Uganda and DRC) shared on the employment of LDUs (Local Vigilante groups) to halt the killings,” said the army.

Given the persistent security challenges posed by the ADF, the UPDF urges citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to relevant authorities.

“The collaboration between security agencies and ongoing operations in the DRC demonstrates a concerted effort to safeguard the safety and security of Ugandan citizens,” Col. Deo Akiiki emphasized during a briefing at the Uganda Media Centre.