A bomb blast on a church in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday left at least 10 people dead and 39 injured. Islamic State militants have already claimed responsibility for the incident. Four kilometers from the Ugandan border at Mpondwe, near Kasindi, an evangelical church was the scene of the event.
The incident occurred in Kasindi, which is also eight kilometers from Beni, where the ADF is operating in the DRC. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Fred Enanga, a spokesman for joint security, said the event is proof that terrorism may happen anywhere and at any time and urged the people to be on guard.
“This incident reminds us of terrorist threats we face as a country. It shows there is an existing terror threat environment in Uganda but our joint teams of Police counter terrorism, Crime Intelligence, CMI and other security agencies continue to operation with a heightened state of readiness,”
According to the police spokeswoman, the event occurred 425 days after two assaults that occurred in Kampala in November 2021 at the Central Police Station and Parliamentary Avenue. Enanga said that after the bomb blasts, Ugandan security launched operations to destroy ADF sleeper cells throughout the nation. She said that around 29 terror-related events are now being investigated, and several weapons and improvised explosive devices have been found.
He said that operations had been carried out around the nation, which had also resulted in the capture of those suspected of being responsible for the current wave of robberies of police stations and their employees’ belongings.
“We want to show you that terrorism as a threat exists in our country and counter terrorism teams have been doing their best to counter several incidents. In the many interrogations carried out, there is evidence that has shown that these are groups carrying out attacks on Ugandans and police attacks. We want to show the public that ADF terror cells are real and we have tried our best to dismantle them.”
“What happened in eastern DRC is not something new. We are aware of the threats but we are doing our best to prevent, disrupt and dismantle the ADF cells.”
Enanga claims that security has prohibited nighttime travel by passenger and freight boats around Lake Albert, as well as by large security stations close to the border with the DRC.
The population in Mpondwe, Kasese, and Bundibugyo shouldn’t be concerned about these measures since they are intended to ensure their security.
As a Ugandan rebel group in the 1990s, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) has subsequently been designated as a terrorist organization and has been held accountable for a number of incidents in both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, the jihadist organization has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and has continued to use a number of strategies.
A recent report by a group of independent UN specialists said that the ADF was switching to “more conspicuous and more fatal” bomb assaults in urban areas.