Worry Grows Over ADF-NALU Attacks

There are growing concerns of renewed conflict in Eastern Congo and parts of Western Uganda instigated by the Allied Democratic Forces’ rebels (ADF).

ADF forces in Eastern DRC
ADF forces in Eastern DRC

The ADF, which was reportedly neutralised by the Congolese government forces FARDC, has in the past three weeks conducted a string of attacks on camps and villages in Beni renewing security fears for the Ugandan border town of Bwera of a possible spill over of the attacks.

Last week, the ADF – NALU rebels are reported to have attacked a village in Beni and killed up to 26 people and also looted local pharmacies and shops.

The attacks, close to the border town Bwera, have put the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on high alert and increased deployment has been made to the towns.

UPDF second division command spokesperson Major Ronald Kakurungu praised the FARDC’s effort at fighting the ADF but added that the UPDF will maintain deployment in the border town of Bwera to avert any possible attacks.

He also echoed Chief of Defence Forces Katumba Wamala’s statement that the UPDF had increased its information sharing with the Congolese army to neutralise ADF-NALU.

The ADF-NALU is a rebel movement that was formed by Ugandan Jamil Mukulu to among many things fight against purported marginalisation of the Muslims in Uganda. The Muslim community and leadership has however since denounced the group.

Increased UPDF activity on the border lines last week led to the arrest of Forum For Democratic Change activist Sam Mugumya who is said to have been in Congo. UPDF has since issued a statement saying he is being investigated for subversion.

The arrest of Mugumya comes just weeks after the General Katumba Wamala expressed worry that elements of the ADF had crossed into the country and were carrying out recruitment of people.

UPDF intelligence indicated that the recruits were being promised good working opportunities in the rich mining industry of DRC but were ending up in ADF camps.

Speculation over the ADF defeat was buried this month after the group carried out fresh attacks in Beni. The group leader Jamil Mukulu has not made any public appearance since 2009 but it is stated in various security council briefs on Congo that he holds a firm grip over the rebel group and also has established links with terror organisations.

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