The Allied Defence Forces (ADF) in Uganda including leaders, goals, objectives, and whether or not members and supporters are harassed by the government (1995-2002) [UGA38401.E]

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is reportedly "a coalition force of an Islamist sect known as Tabliqs and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda, [it] has operated out of the Rwenzori Mountains, which straddle the DRC, since 1996 and aims to overthrow the government of President Yoweri Museveni" (AFP 19 May 2000).

The information which follows was reportedly provided by a former ADF Chief of Staff, Commander Benz, "who surrendered recently and has been helping the UPDF to finally rout out the remnants of his former rebel army" (New Vision 31 Dec. 2000).

ADF was formed from three groups-the Buseruka intake who were Tabliqs then calling themselves the Uganda Muslim Freedom Fighters, the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) and the former Rwenzururu. We met in Beni, Zaire in 1995, agreed to unite and formed the Allied Democratic Forces...we were 6,500 fighters. The former President of Zaire called Mobutu Sese Seko was our uniting factor. He gave us finance and logistics...we elected Abdallah Kabanda as our leader. His deputies were Kyagulanyi Jamil Mukulu and Hosea...after Kabila launched his war, Hosea was cut off in Goma, so we replaced Hosea with Mzee Fenahasi Kisokeranio (ibid.).

According to this source, other leaders leaders included Henry Matovu, Army Commander, Benz, Chief of Staff; the late Kasangaki Kiwewa Swaib Kigozi, 'Commander Tiger, Chief of Combat Operations" (ibid.).

Amnesty International Report 2001 and Country Reports for 2000 report that in 2000, the ADF, among other insurgent groups, committed human rights abuses including killing, maiming, and abducting civilians, including children to become soldiers (2001, 251; 2001, 623).

In January 2000, ┬ĘPresident Yoweri Museveni reportedly signed an Amnesty Bill "pardoning from prosecution all surrendering rebels" (New Vision 20 Jan. 2000). AFP reported that the Ugandan army alleged capturing Ali Mulema Bwambale, the secretary general of the ADF, Bihama Kule, the director of the ADF external services, and four other ADF commanders" (19 May 2000). The captured men reportedly requested that the amnesty be applied to them (ibid.).

In October 2001 "Sheikh Murtadha Bukenya, a Tabliq leader who had been named one of Uganda's most wanted terrorrist suspects, returned from exile" (The Monitor 8 Jan. 2002). The Uganda government reportedly said that "Tabliqs within Uganda have trained at Osama bin Laden's camps and that some formed a part of the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) revolution in Western Uganda" (ibid.). On 5 December 2001, the United States added the ADF and the Lord's Resistance Army to its "Terrorist Exclusion List" (The Monitor 8 Jan. 2002).

The Monitor reports that in December 2001, five ADF fighters, specifically, four girls and a 29-year-old man surrendered to the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) at Kagadi, in Kibaale district (31 Dec. 2001). The UPDF Commander to whom they surrendered "said the five who surrendered would be pardoned under the amnesty law" (ibid.).

Reports on whether members and supporters are harassed by the government could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 19 May 2000. "Uganda Army Claims Capture of Rebel Leader." (NEXIS)

Amnesty International. 2001. Amnesty International Report 2001. New York: Amnesty International USA.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000. 2001. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

The Monitor [Kampala]. 8 January 2002. Carl Bialik. "Tabliqs Trained With Osama, Says Government."

_____. 31 December 2001. Mike Odongkara. "4 ADF Girls Surrender." [Accessed : 22 Jan.2002]

The New Vision [Kampala]. 31 December 2000. "Uganda: Benz Spills ADF Secrets." (Africa News/NEXIS)

_____. 20 January 2000. Felix Osike. "Uganda: I Won't Name My Successor, Says Museveni." (Africa News/NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Cultural and Social Issues.

The Indian Ocean Newsletter.

Keesing's Record of World Events.
Internet sites including


All Africa

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