Factbox: Who’re Islamic State’s associates in Central Africa?

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KINSHASA (Reuters) – Ugandan authorities blamed Tuesday’s lethal suicide bombings https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/explosion-uganda-capital-kills-least-two-local-tv-2021-11-16 on “home terror teams” linked to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist militia with roots in Uganda, based mostly within the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The reclusive group is blamed for killing tons of of villagers in japanese Congo in nighttime raids over the past two years. The ADF pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in mid-2019.

Whereas there is no such thing as a proof of direct command and management by IS over the ADF, IS has claimed two small bombings in Uganda in October.

ADF’S ROOTS

The ADF began as opposition to the Ugandan authorities within the early Nineteen Nineties beneath its then-leader Jamil Mukulu.

It carried out a string of massacres in Congo’s Beni territory in 2013. Congo’s military launched an operation in opposition to it the subsequent 12 months.

Mukulu fled to Tanzania. He was arrested in 2015 and extradited to Uganda. Seka Musa Baluku, who beforehand served because the group’s senior Islamic authorized official, took management.

ISLAMIC STATE LINKS

Underneath Baluku, the ADF shifted focus from attempting to put in an Islamic authorities in Uganda, to selling itself as a world jihadist motion.

In April 2019, the Islamic State claimed its first assault in Congo, and three months later Baluku appeared in an IS propaganda video pledging allegiance to it. The ADF – alongside fighters in Mozambique – was branded as IS’s “Central Africa Province” (ISCAP), though the 2 teams are operationally distinct.

In October 2019, Congo’s military launched a second operation in opposition to the ADF, unleashing retaliatory assaults in opposition to civilians. The ADF killed greater than 800 individuals final 12 months, the United Nations says.

In June, IS claimed duty for a double bombing in Beni at a Catholic church and a busy intersection. Nobody was killed, aside from a suspect that consultants say could have been Congo’s first suicide bomber.

U.N. consultants say fighters from outdoors Congo have helped the ADF make modest advances in creating improvised explosive gadgets within the final 12 months, however haven’t discovered conclusive proof IS has management over ADF operations.

THE PUNISHER

Final month, Islamic State made its first declare of duty for a blast in Uganda – an assault on a police station in Kampala’s Kawempe neighbourhood, which killed nobody. It claimed a second blast on Oct. 23 that killed a waitress.

Rwanda stated on Oct. 1 that police thwarted a 3rd tried bombing in Kigali, which they linked to ADF.

Bodily proof recommended these three plots and Tuesday’s triple bombing had been coordinated by Meddie Nkalubo, nicknamed “Punisher”, stated Laren Poole from the U.S.-based Bridgeway Basis, which research the group.

Nkalubo, a Ugandan in his thirties, joined the ADF round 2016-2017. He oversees communication and propaganda, and making improvised explosive gadgets, a U.N. skilled report discovered.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland; enhancing by Katharine Houreld and Lisa Shumaker)



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