October 18, 2023
Police say extremist ADF rebels carried out ‘cowardly terrorist attack’ near border with DRC
Queen Elizabeth National Park, located in a remote area of south-west Uganda, is one of the country’s most popular conservation areas. Photograph: PhotoKratky/Wildlife/Nature/Alamy
By Associated Press in Kampala
Two tourists from the UK and South Africa and their Ugandan guide were killed when assailants attacked their vehicle near a national park in south-west Uganda.
Bashir Hangi, spokesperson for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), said the attackers set fire to the vehicle in which the group were travelling just outside Queen Elizabeth national park.
The security agencies were working “to establish who could have carried out this heinous act”, he said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the UWA said: “The deceased, whose names are withheld, include a Ugandan, a UK citizen and a South African citizen. They were travelling under Gorilla and Wildlife Safaris, a local tour company.”
Fred Enanga, a police spokesperson, said in a statement that extremist rebels usually based in the east of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo had carried out the “cowardly terrorist attack”.
He said the security forces “responded immediately upon receiving the information and are aggressively pursuing the suspected ADF rebels”.
The ADF, or Allied Democratic Forces, is a shadowy rebel group that originated in Uganda but whose fighters now operate in a lawless part of eastern DRC. The group has established ties with the Islamic State group.
Queen Elizabeth national park, located in a remote area near the DRC border, is one of the country’s most popular conservation areas.
Such an attack is rare in this east African country. It comes at a time when Ugandan troops are hunting down the ADF deep inside DRC.
The ADF occasionally carries out cross-border attacks. In one such attack in June, the group was accused of massacring at least 41 people, most of them students, in a raid on a remote Ugandan community near the border.
The ADF has long opposed the rule of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, a US security ally who has held power in the east African country since 1986.
The group was established in the early 1990s by Ugandan Muslims who said they had been sidelined by Museveni’s policies.
At the time, the rebels staged deadly attacks in Ugandan villages and Kampala, the capital, including a 1998 attack in which 80 students were massacred in a border town.