Islamic State funds group accused of Uganda attack
- Can you fathom the revelation that the Allied Democratic Forces, believed to have claimed the lives of no less than 41 individuals at a Ugandan educational institution, has indeed received financial support from the notorious Islamic State? This startling information comes directly from a recently-released United Nations report.
- This tragic incident took place at Lhubiriha Secondary School, where a devastating attack resulted in the loss of 37 innocent students.
- Curiously enough, the armed group responsible had already been discovered in the vicinity prior to the assault, engaging in a reconnaissance mission with sinister intentions.
An overwhelming sense of bewilderment engulfs as it is revealed that the nefarious Allied Democratic Forces, notorious for their role in a bloodbath claiming the lives of at least 41 individuals at a Ugandan school, have shockingly received financial backing from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). Startling details from a UN report, recently obtained by AFP, shed light on this perplexing revelation.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), widely accused of orchestrating this heinous attack in the western Ugandan town of Mpondwe last Friday, have long been held accountable for their brutal actions resulting in countless civilian fatalities in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a report set to be published this week, UN experts investigating the situation in the DRC have made remarkable discoveries concerning the intricate financial ties between these two groups.
It is stated that since 2019, the IS has been extending financial support to the ADF through a convoluted financial scheme involving individuals from multiple countries in Africa, commencing in Somalia and traversing through South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.
This astonishing information is underpinned by a wealth of documentation and testimonies, leaving little room for doubt.
Throughout its history, the ADF had been primarily associated with predominantly Muslim Ugandan rebels opposing President Yoweri Museveni. However, in the mid-1990s, the group established a firm foothold in eastern DRC, cementing its place amongst numerous illicit forces embroiled in the tumultuous region. Subsequently, an unexpected radical shift occurred in 2019, with the ADF pledging their allegiance to the IS.
The IS has anointed the ADF as its regional affiliate, referring to it as the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP). In a move that reverberated across the international community, the United States classified the ADF as a “terrorism group” associated with the IS in November 2021.
Following a series of bombings in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, in November 2021, Ugandan troops crossed into eastern DRC, joining forces with the Congolese military in a concerted effort to crack down on the ADF. Military officials from both sides hailed the operation, codenamed Operation Shujaa, as a triumph. However, the ADF continues to carry out vicious attacks.
As highlighted in the new UN report, the perplexing behavior of the ADF extends beyond North Kivu and Ituri provinces, with the group dispatching fighters and collaborators on scouting missions to expand their reach. Their ambitions encompass targeting and launching assaults in Kinshasa, as well as in Tshoppo, Haut-Uele, and South-Kivu provinces.
The attack in Uganda unfolded scarcely two kilometers from the border with the DRC.
Shocking reports indicate that a distressing total of 37 students perished at Lhubiriha Secondary School, with 17 tragically falling victim to the flames within the male dormitory, while another 20 female students, who attempted to flee, were brutally hacked to death.
Additionally, four non-students lost their lives in this horrific incident.
Major General Dick Olum, spearheading the Ugandan side of the operation against the rebels in the DRC, informed AFP that intelligence indicated the ADF had been present in the area for at least two days before the assault. Their purpose, it seems, was to meticulously plan the raid on the school.
We have urgently appealed for escalated firepower and aerial support to aid in the valiant rescue mission of the abducted individuals and facilitate the identification of rebel hideouts, which necessitate immediate military action.
In a haunting echo of the past, another catastrophic incident involving the ADF unfolded in June 1998, when 80 students were tragically burned alive during a raid on Kichwamba Technical Institute, situated near Uganda’s border with the DRC.