Uganda hunts down ADF after killing of 2 tourists Uganda hunts down ADF after killing of 2 tourists

Uganda hunts down ADF after killing of 2 tourists

Uganda hunts down ADF after killing of 2 tourists

Ugandan authorities on Wednesday hunted down the perpetrators of the murder the day before of two tourists, a couple on their honeymoon, and their guide in the famous Queen Elizabeth Park, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

According to the National Parks Agency (UWA), the tourists were British and South African nationals and their guide was a Ugandan.

“This is a cowardly act by terrorists targeting innocent civilians and tragic for the newly married couple, visiting Uganda for their honeymoon,” President Yoweri Museveni wrote in a message posted on X (formerly Twitter).

The attack was carried out around 6:00 p.m. local time (3:00 p.m. GMT) in the northern part of the park "by a small group of terrorists" who "will pay with their miserable lives", added the head of state, in power since 1986 in this East African country.

Army spokesman Felix Kulayigye said in a statement that a force combining army, police and UWA "has deployed all resources to pursue these terrorists and will ensure that they respond of their heinous acts.

“Three Christian Tourists”
IS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released on Wednesday, saying the attackers had killed "three Christian tourists including a British man" using machine guns.

Ugandan police had previously attributed it to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a militia based in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) having pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. She is accused of having massacred thousands of civilians in the DRC in recent years and of carrying out jihadist attacks on Ugandan soil.

Stressing that "the attackers are still on the run", the United Kingdom has advised its nationals against "all travel, except essential, to this park" in the south-west of the country, bordering the DRC.

“If you are able to do so safely, you should consider leaving the area,” the British government added.

France also called on its nationals to be “cautious” and “follow the instructions of local authorities”, in a message on X.

A South African official said consular authorities were in contact with the family of the South African national killed in the attack.

“We would also like to join the international community in condemning this terrorist attack. Terrorism, in any form, has no place in our society,” the spokesperson for the southern ministry told AFP. -African Foreign Affairs, Clayson Monyela.

This attack came two days after the Ugandan president announced that security forces had foiled Sunday bomb attacks planned by members of the ADF and targeting churches around fifty kilometers from the capital Kampala.

Mr. Museveni then claimed that the Ugandan army had carried out airstrikes the day before against ADF positions in the DRC and warned that the group could "attempt to commit random terrorist acts" in Uganda following these raids.

Uganda and the DRC launched a joint offensive in 2021 to drive the ADF from their Congolese strongholds, failing so far to end the group's attacks.

In June, 42 people, including 37 students, were killed at a high school in western Uganda in an attack attributed to them.

“Isolated incident”
Originally mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels, the ADF established roots in eastern DRC in the 1990s. They pledged allegiance in 2019 to IS, which claims some of their actions and presents them as its " Central African Province" (Iscap in English).

Felix Kulayigye assured "the tourism industry that this is an isolated incident" and that "Uganda is safe."

In 2019, an American tourist and his guide were kidnapped by four armed men while walking in Queen Elizabeth Park. The two men were found unharmed after a ransom was paid.

UWA announced that the park would remain open on Tuesday.

One of the most famous in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth Park is renowned for its safaris where you can notably observe lions climbing trees, a rarity.

An essential sector of the Ugandan economy, tourism contributed to nearly 10% of GDP in 2022, according to official figures.

Gulf of Guinea: joint exercise by the Nigerian and French navy

Two maritime exercises were conducted by the Nigerian and French navy in early October.

One consisted of controlling a suspicious ship where illicit gasoline and cocaine were being transported, the other simulated a military operation to free hostages kidnapped at sea by pirates and then brought back to dry land. 

The Mistral ship piloting the exercises operates as part of the Corymbe mission, which contributes to the maritime security of the Gulf of Guinea, by ensuring the permanent presence of a French navy vessel since 1990 on this maritime route where France has strong economic interests, particularly linked to oil exploitation.

Surveillance at sea, information sharing, operations on the high seas, and exercises with the navies, the Mistral ship is on a four-month mission in the Gulf of Guinea, along the West African coast.
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