Security Tightened Over ADF Threat
SOURCE: The New Vision
By John Thawite
The army has been put on alert in western Uganda to forestall an imminent attack by suspected Allied Democratic Forces rebels based in the DR Congo, sources said yesterday.
The Congolese army recently launched an offensive to drive out the rebels from their territory, raising fears that the rebels might respond by attacking Uganda in turn.
Already, rebels fleeing Congolese forces on Monday morning attacked a Congolese town of Mutwanga, 50km inside the DR Congo on the western slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains.
The rebels were reportedly targeting Edwardo Nyamwisi, the brother of Congo minister Mbusa Nyamwisi. They besieged the town, despite the presence of the UN peace-keeping forces called MONUC.
Ugandan and Congo military sources said Nyamwisi escaped unhurt. "The rebels, however, captured his guard, burnt the vehicle of a local chief and a guest house, and looted the entire town," the sources said.
The spokesman of the 2nd Division in Mbarara, Maj. Patrick Kamara, said the military intelligence had established that the attackers were ADF rebels.
"We are on the alert. Our security and intelligence forces are on the ground," Kamara said yesterday on telephone.
He said the army would not allow the rebels to cross into Uganda and cause havoc.
"But this confirms that the enemy still exists in the DR Congo and doing the terrorist things they used to do in Uganda."
Kamara said the conflict in eastern Congo was an internal matter, which the UPDF would not get involved in. However, he expressed sympathy for the Congolese who suffered the attack.
The ADF rebels were flushed out of Uganda in 2002 after committing atrocities for nearly six years, including the massacre of about 100 students of Kicwamba Technical College in Kabarole district.
They also attacked St. John's Minor Seminary in Kasese district and displaced thousands of people in the Rwenzori region.
The ADF, led by Kyagulanyi a.k.a. Jamil Mukulu, is suspected to be linked to al-Qaeda terrorists.
The attack comes hardly a month after a joint meeting between Ugandan and Congolese military chiefs in Fort Portal, in which they discussed the rebel threat.