Allied Democratic Forces insurgency
|Allied Democratic Forces insurgency|
A UNFIB soldier during an operation against the ADF in Beni.
|Commanders and leaders|
|James Aloizi Mwakibolwa||Frank Kithasamba|
|Casualties and losses|
|1 soldier killed||
1,265+ civilians killed|
The Allied Democratic Forces insurgency refers to the ongoing conflict waged by the Allied Democratic Forces in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, against the governments of those two countries. The insurgency began in 1995, intensifying in 2013, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
The ADF was formed by Jamil Mukulu, an ultra conservative Ugandan Muslim, belonging to the Tablighi Jamaat group. Mukulu was born as David Steven and was baptised as a Catholic, later converting to Islam, adopting a Muslim name and becoming radicalised. He reportedly spent the early 1990s in Khartoum, Sudan, coming into personal contact with Osama bin Laden.
ADF merged with the remnants of another rebel group, the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU), during the years following the fall of Idi Amin. ADF-NALU's initial goal was to overthrow Ugandan president's Yoweri Museveni government, replacing it with an Islamic fundamentalist state. The group went on to recruit former officers of the Ugandan army, as well as volunteers from Tanzania and Somalia. Funded by the illegal mining and logging industries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ADF created 15 well organised camps in the Rowezori mountains, located in the DRC-Uganda border areas. The insurgence remained unaffected by government amnesty and talk efforts, as members married local women.
According to intelligence sources, ADF has collaborated with al-Shabaab and Lord's Resistance Army. Receiving training and logistic support, with limited direct involvement from al-Shabaab's side. Other alleged sponsors of the faction include Sudanese Islamist politician Hassan al-Turabi and former DRC president Mobutu Sese Seko.
Formed in 1989, ADF carried out its first attacks in 1995. The conflict gradually intensified, culminating in the 1998 Kichwamba Technical College attack, which left 80 people dead, with 80 more being abducted. By 2002, continuous pressure from the Ugandan Army forced ADF to relocate most of its activities into the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. The insurgency continued on a smaller scale until 2013, which marked a resurgence of ADF activity, with the group launching a recruitment campaign along with numerous attacks.
On 13 November 1996, ADF perpetrated its first large scale attack on the towns of Bwera and Mpondwe-Lhubiriha in Kasese district, Uganda. Approximately 50 people were killed in the attack. 25000 people fled the towns, before they were recaptured by Ugandan troops.
On 4 April 1998, 5 people were killed and at least 6 were wounded, when bombs exploded at two restaurants in Kampala.
In June 1998, ADF rebels abducted over l00 school children from a school in Hoima, Uganda.
2007 to 2008
During March 2007, the UPDF engaged ADF groups in multiple firefights, killing at least 46 in Bundibugyo and Mubende districts. The biggest battle occurred on March 27, when the UPDF faced an estimated 60 ADF troops and killed 34, including three senior commanders. The UPDF claimed to have retrieved numerous weapons as well as documents that tie the ADF to the LRA.
On 13 April 2007, the UPDF and ADF engaged in an intense battle inside the Semuliki National Park, near the upscale Semliki Lodge tourist destination.
Ceasefire and amnesty talks between the government of Uganda and the ADF were held in Nairobi starting in May 2008. Negotiations were complicated by the fragmentation of the ADF's leadership. Non-combatant dependents of the ADF were repatriated to Uganda by the IOM. At least 48 ADF fighters surrendered and were given amnesty. As the threat from the LRA in the DRC waned, the UPDF put increasing focus on the ADF as a reason for UPDF personnel to remain in the DRC.
In April 2013, it was reported that ADF started a recruitment campaign in Kampala and other parts of the country. Citing a defector from ADF, "allAfrica" reported that some 10 new recruits joined ADF forces every day.
In July 2013, the ADF renewed its fighting in the Congolese district of Beni. According to the UN Radio Okapi, the ADF together with the NALU, fought a pitched battle with the FARD, briefly taking the towns of Mamundioma and Totolito. On July 11, the ADF attacked the town of Kamango, triggering the flight of over 60,000 refugees across the border into the Ugandan district of Bundibugyo.
Early in September 2013, regional leaders under the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) asked the recently formed combative Intervention Brigade under MONUSCO to attack positions of foreign negative forces operating in DRC, including the ADF.
On 25 December 2013, ADF rebels attacked the city of Kamango, DRC. Over 50 civilians were killed and many buildings were burnt down. The city was retaken by the Congolese army the following day.
On 31 October 2014, a crowd stoned to death, burned and then ate a suspected ADF insurgent in the town of Beni. The incident came after a number of ADF raids, that brought the October's civilian death toll to over 100 people.
On 4 January 2015, a joint MONUSCO - FARDC offensive forced ADF militants out of the Mavure village, North Kivu. One rebel was killed, as government forces seized large amounts of drugs and training materials.
On 5 February 2015, ADF carried out a night raid on the city of Beni hacking to death 23 people and injuring one.
On 8 May 2015, suspected ADF guerrillas attacked the Matembo neighborhood of the town of Mulekere, North Kivu. Seven people were slain in the attack bringing the region's 2015 death toll to over 300 casualties.
In early December 2015, the ADF seized a MONUSCO base in North Kivu, killing a Malawian UN soldier in doing so. South African UN forces later retook the base, attacking with Rooivalk attack helicopters.
The ADF has been blamed for the Beni massacre.
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- SA attack helicopters in renewed action in the DRC
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- "Ugandan rebels wielding machetes kill 36 people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo". Reuters. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
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- "Beni : 5 personnes tuées par machettes par des ADF". Radio Okapi. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
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- "Nord-Kivu: nouveau massacre à Beni, 7 morts". Radio Okapi. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- SA troops battle armed-group in DRC, retake base
- "Suspected rebels hack nine people to death in northeast Congo: army". Reuters. 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2016-07-05.