From late October to mid November, number explosions have hit Kampala and nearby areas. The first one hit Digida bar and Pork Joint in Komamboga, Kawempe on October 23rd followed closely by the Swift Safaris bomb that killed one person on Kampala –Masaka road. More other explosions were reported in Nakaseke and Luwero. Yesterday’s twin bombs became the first to hit Kampala Central Business District (CBD).
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility threatening to do more harm.
The government of Uganda has continued to blame the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in D.R Congo to be behind the attacks, which leaves some Ugandans wondering the connection between the ADF and the Islamic State.
Here we unmask the Islamist State and why they are targeting Uganda.
What is Islamic State and how is Uganda connected?
Islamist State started in 2014 as a Jihadist movement and gained world fame after driving Iraq forces out of key cities in the western part of the country. The group also gained territories in Syria and claimed territories in Afghanistan.
With its quick rise, several jihadist movements in West Africa and Sub Saharan Africa started sprouting swearing allegiance to the Islamic State with some of them controlling significant territories while others were bandits and guerrilla rebels.
A faction of rebels known as Islamic State in Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda quickly rose up in 2016 but was only active in Somalia and partly in North Eastern Kenya.
In 2017, a terror group in D.R Congo rose up claiming to part of the ‘City of Monotheism and Monotheists (MTM)’ group claiming allegiance to the Islamic State. It was later argued that MTM was an arm of Allied Democratic Forces who have waged war against Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo for decades.
In 2018, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi the self proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State acknowledged the existence of Islamic State in Central Africa.
The Central African Province of the Islamic State is mainly centered in Mozambique by the Ansar al Sunna rebel group and also in D.R Congo by the ADF causing insurgence in DR. Congo, Uganda and Mozambique.
Moses Baluku a Ugandan militant heads the ADF faction which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a video that was published by ISIL propagandists.
Attacks and Insurgency of Islamic State Central Africa
Islamic State Central African Province has been making various attacks in Eastern Congo butchering dozens of people and sometimes hundreds of people in every attack they make in Eastern Congo villages. In 2020 and 2021 alone, close to 2000 people have been killed by ADF Islamists.
Ansar al Sunna (Al Shabaab Mozambique) has been active in coastal areas of Mozambique having managed to temporarily size some ports and land from the government.
In 2021, ADF launched fresh terror attacks on Uganda starting in October with Komamboga Pork Joint explosion where one lady died on spot followed by another blast in a Swift Safaris bus which killed one person who is suspected to have been the perpetrator in Mpigi District. The latest attacks happened simultaneously at CPS Kampala and near the Parliament claiming lives of 6 people including three suicide bombers.
Islamic State came out to claim the responsibility saying that the reason why they chose to bomb Uganda is because Uganda has been fighting Islamic State fighters in the ISCAP (Islamic State Central Africa Province.
“Uganda is one of the countries participating in the war against Islamic State fighters in Central Africa” a statement from IS’s news agency Amaq said today.
Fight against Islamic State in Central Africa.
Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Mozambique and South Africa are the strong opponents of the Islamic State.
In 2021, Rwanda in agreement with Mozambique moved forces to Mozambique to help fight the Islamist fighters that were terrorizing the Cabo Delgado Province.
In November 2021, President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni issued a statement shortly after the Kampala Twin Bombings that they will launch a full scale war against the ADF.
“The terrorists invited us and we are coming for them” Warned Museveni