Suspected ADF rebels kill one, burn truck in fresh Kasese raid

Friday October 13 2023

People mourn outside the Bwera General Hospital Mortuary in Kasese, Uganda on June 18, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


Suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) on Thursday night raided Kasese again, shooting one person dead and setting a trailer ablaze at Mpondwe Lhubiriha border, where the rebel group burnt 41 school children in June this year, security information shows.

The victim was travelling in the trailer with three others, one of whom was seriously injured and is currently admitted at Bwera General Hospital, while a woman occupant survived uninjured. The fourth traveler has not yet been found, Col Deo Akiiki, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Deputy Spokesperson said.

“Preliminary information indicates an incident where an estimated five armed ADF elements ambushed a trailer at 1:00am which was carrying onions from Kisoro to Mpondwe Lhubiriha border and burnt it,” he said in an internal memo.

Read: Gunmen kill 25 students in attack on Uganda school

“This happened at Katojo Junction along Bwera-Kinyamaseke-Kasese Road in Kasese District. The trailer had four occupants,” he added, explaining that UPDF squads are tracking down the attackers, with more details to be availed later. 

The attack comes after recent statements by President Museveni hailing the UPDF Airforce for air strikes against the ADF further inside Congo, in the rebel group’s bases in Mambasa area, which is outside the territory Uganda’s Mountain Brigade was not allowed to deploy.


“Fellow Ugandans and, especially, the Bazzukulu. Greetings. I need to inform you that yesterday, the 4th of October, 2023, our fighter- bombers paid another visit to the terrorists, quite some distance inside Congo, in the Mambasa territory area,” he wrote on X, on October 5.

“They attacked 3 targets, 180 kilometres, 184 kilometres and 200 kilometres, respectively, from the border on the Ntoroko side. I congratulate the Air-force, the Special Duties Regiment (SDR) and UPDF in general, on the good work they are doing to protect our Congolese brothers and sisters as well as Ugandans from these spoilt actors who are, moreover, ignorant of what war actually means,” he added.

Two weeks earlier, President Yoweri Museveni had revealed, in another statement, that UPDF had carried out airstrikes on September 16, 2023 to attack “four ADF terrorists’ targets that were between 100 and 150 kilometres from the Ugandan border on the Ntoroko side.

These targets had been located by assets from the army’s SDR which have good reconnaissance capability, and accordingly, a lot of rebels were killed, including Meddie Nkalubo, whom the president described as the notorious leader and author of the bombs that security intercepted and safely detonated in several locations in Kampala early last month.

Read: Questions greet latest bomb scares in Uganda

The latest ADF attack on Ugandan territory is the fifth since December 2022, and raises questions about the effectiveness of UPDF’s joint military operation with Congolese forces inside eastern Congo, which is soon capping two years.

With permission from DRC President Felix Tshisekedi in November 2021, Uganda launched aerial strikes and long range artillery to bombard ADF bases inside Congo, and then sent its mountain brigade in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, to pursue the terrorists after they killed five people in bomb blasts in Kampala.

“They will now discover that killing Ugandans is not a good hobby. In this part of the world, there is nowhere we cannot get them, if we coordinate with the governments of the sister countries,” President Museveni said after the air strikes last month.

“They have been inviting us to pay attention to them by killing Ugandans and we are now responding to the invitation. The attacks are invariably precise and we shall find out, after some time, who and how many terrorists died. It is futile and very dangerous to the individuals involved, to think that they can kill Ugandans and be safe themselves,” he explained.

Besides making deadly incursions into Uganda from their Congo bases, the ADF also still runs local terror cells that have kept the police, Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence busy trying to eliminate, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga says.