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confidentially speaking

The Africa Confidential Blog

  • 18th November 2021

Who's bombing Kampala and why

Blue Lines

The deadly blasts in central Kampala on 17 November have been claimed, via an identified Telegram account, as the work of Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP), previously known as the Allied Democratic Forces. It points to the growing capacity of IS chiefs to recruit militants across East and Central Africa where it has established training camps. ADF, initially recruiting among dissident muslims to fight President Yoweri Museveni's government, has widened its war aims across the region.

Three suicide bombers killed six people, injured 36 and forced an evacuation of parliament in coordinated blasts. Police spokesman Fred Enanga said a fourth bomb-maker was arrested and equipment was found at his house.

Security officers say that Islamist militants have been boosted in the wake of the Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan, providing terrorist groups with trainers, equipment and fighters to step up attacks in vulnerable countries.

Statements from Ugandan security are fuelling concern that Museveni's government is losing its grip, distracted by its suppression of peaceful political opposition around this year's elections.  After last month's bomb attack, police units insisted there was no evidence linking the attacks to ISCAP. Yet senior intelligence sources had earlier warned of ISCAP attacks, saying they had arrested suspects running sleeper cells.