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Ugandan in court for supporting terrorism

AN Ugandan man facing terrorism-related charges has been accused of supporting the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group aligned with Islamic State (IS). 

According to court documents seen by Reuters, Swalleh Abubakar, 31, has been involved in activities such as recruiting fighters for the group.

Reuters reports that the ADF, which began as an uprising in Uganda, has been based in Congo since the late 1990s and pledged allegiance to IS in mid-2019. The group has been responsible for killing hundreds of villagers in frequent raids in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo over the years.

Abubakar was extradited from Zambia last month and charged with offences including “terrorism financing” and “rendering support to a terrorist organisation” in a magistrate’s court in the Ugandan capital late on Monday. He was not permitted to enter a plea, as the case will be tried in a higher court where he will answer to the charges. After the charges were read, he was remanded to prison.

According to Reuters, prosecutors allege that between 2018 and April 2024, Abubakar “directly or indirectly mobilised funds and procured digital watches, power banks” to support the ADF. The charge sheet also accuses him of recruiting and transferring recruits to the ADF in eastern DRC and transferring the procured materials, knowing they would be used for terrorist activities. His activities reportedly spanned across Uganda, the DRC, Tanzania, Zambia, and South Africa.

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Uganda has attributed several attacks to the ADF, including a triple suicide bombing in the capital in 2021 that killed seven people, including the bombers. Additionally, last June, the group’s fighters killed 37 people in an attack on a school in western Uganda near the DRC border.

By The African Mirror