UN Report: The financial nexus between ISIS and ADF

New York (Caasimada Online) – The United Nations (UN) has unveiled fresh evidence of financial links between the notorious armed group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and the so-called Islamic State (IS). 

According to a yet-to-be-published UN report, this support has been ongoing since at least 2019 and involves a complex financial scheme straddling several African countries.

This crucial information is sourced from documents and testimonies, shedding light on the hazy financial connections between these terror groups. 

“The IS has provided financial support to ADF through a network involving individuals in several countries on the continent. The scheme originates from Somalia, extending through South Africa, Kenya, and reaching Uganda,” the UN report noted.

Tracing the origins of ADF

Originating from predominantly Muslim Ugandan rebels opposing President Yoweri Museveni, the ADF was established in the mid-1990s in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

By 2019, it shifted towards radicalism, pledging allegiance to the IS and transforming into one of the numerous outlawed forces in the troubled region.

The IS acknowledges the ADF as its regional affiliate, known as the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP). 

Consequently, in March 2021, the United States designated the ADF as one of the “terrorist groups” affiliated with IS.

Continuous threat despite operations

Despite joint military operations from Ugandan and Congolese forces to suppress the ADF, the group’s attacks have been relentless. 

This united force, Operation Shujaa, began after a series of bombings orchestrated by ADF in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

Major General Dick Olum, spearheading the Ugandan side of Operation Shujaa, told AFP that intelligence suggested the ADF had scouted the area at least two days before the recent attack.

 “We have called for more firepower, planes to help in the rescue operation of those abducted, and locating the rebel hideouts for military action,” he said.

The ADF’s reign of terror

The ADF has been implicated in several civilian deaths in the DRC. It is suspected of a recent massacre at a Ugandan school, resulting in the death of 41 people. 

The attack happened in Mpondwe, a western Ugandan town less than two kilometers from the DRC border. 

Victims included 17 male students in a torched dormitory and 20 female students killed as they attempted to escape.

These horrific atrocities echo the June 1998 attack when the ADF set ablaze dormitories at the Kichwamba Technical Institute, killing 80 students.

Expansion and recruitment efforts

The UN report highlighted the ADF’s efforts to expand beyond North Kivu and Ituri provinces. 

The armed group has sent collaborators and combatants on scouting missions and has sought to recruit and conduct attacks in various provinces, including Kinshasa, Tshoppo, Haut-Uele, and South-Kivu.

While the UN report brings to light the financial support provided by IS to the ADF, the challenges of curbing this notorious armed group remain vast. 

However, with more insights into their operations and finances, authorities are better equipped to disrupt their activities and bring an end to their reign of terror.