Date:  January 4, 2024

Uganda (International Christian Concern) — Suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels killed three people in Western Uganda on Christmas night one week after taking the lives of 10 people and destroying property in the same district.

The ADF is an Islamist terrorist group affiliated with the Islamic State that has long threatened Christians and heavily Christian communities in Uganda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). International Christian Concern (ICC) listed the ADF as one of the worst terrorist groups in its 2023 Persecutors of the Year report.

On Dec. 18, suspected ADF rebels killed ten people including a local leader, and looted shops in the Kamwenge district of Uganda. On Christmas night, rebels torched a house in the same area, killing a grandmother and two grandchildren.

After the first attack, Major General Kasigazi urged communities in the Rwenzori region to keep vigilant in public spaces and encouraged them to collaborate with the police and other security agencies and report suspicious activity.

“We are requesting you to be calm,” said Kasigazi, adding that the Army has the situation under control though no arrests had been made. “We are convinced [the terrorists] will be killed either in Uganda or DRC within no time.”

Magret Night Banyanzaki, a community social services committee head, was among the victims killed. The senseless slaying of these innocent people has devastated the community. Uganda President Yoweri Museveni condemned the heinous attack and praised the bravery of a girl who escaped from the attackers and warned others.

President Museveni also reactivated the Local Defense Units (LDUs), saying, “I have directed the Uganda People’s Defense Force to reactivate the force of the LDUs in the areas surrounding Queen Elizabeth National Parks and Rwenzori region at large.”

Museveni said Ugandans will never be disrupted by any rebel group: “The attackers were part of the Njovu-Kamusu group that entered Uganda from Congo and crossed back to Congo.”

Dr Stephen Kaziimba, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda, urged the government to reinforce security along the volatile and porous Congolese border and strengthen their patrol as another means of protecting Ugandan citizens.

In October 2023, assailants ambushed and killed everyone aboard a tourist vehicle in Queen Elizabeth National Park. In addition, assailants stormed a school last June in Mpondwe in the same district, leaving at least 37 children dead.

The Ugandan government, with the support of regional partners and international organizations, works to neutralize the ADF and ensure the safety and security of its citizens.

We ask that you pray for the persecuted Christians and other innocent people affected by the ADF’s senseless violence.

HOW TO PRAY: Pray for protection for communities affected by the ADF. Pray for the influence of the ADF not to spread in the region. Pray for those who are grieving after these recent attacks.