Ugandan man accused of supporting IS-linked rebels remanded

A Ugandan man charged with terrorism-related offenses has been accused of supporting the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group allied with Islamic State (IS), according to court documents seen by Reuters. The charges include recruiting fighters for the group.

The ADF, which originated 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 accused of killing hundreds of villagers in eastern Congo over the years.

Swalleh Abubakar, 31, who was extradited from Zambia last month, appeared in a magistrate’s court in Kampala on Monday.

He faces charges such as “terrorism financing” and “rendering support to a terrorist organization.” He was remanded to prison after the charges were read, as the case can only be tried in a higher court where he will be allowed to enter a plea.

Prosecutors accuse Abubakar of providing material support and conducting recruitment for the ADF. The charge sheet alleges that he mobilized funds and procured items such as digital watches and power banks between 2018 and April 2024.

These activities took place in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Zambia, and South Africa.

Abubakar is also accused of transferring recruits and the procured materials to the ADF in eastern DRC, knowing they would be used for acts of terrorism.

Uganda has attributed several attacks to the ADF, including a triple suicide bombing in 2021 that killed seven people in Kampala, and an attack on a school near the DRC border last June, which resulted in 37 deaths.

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