Uganda Today: Is Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) A Muslim Rebel Outfit?
6 September 2023.
There is no doubt that in armed conflicts participants on either side of the conflict disguise themselves to avoid being identified as enemies. Where one of the participants is a guerilla group, the fighters may adopt Muslim or Christian names to confuse the reigning regime.
Or else they may wear the uniform of the army of the ruling regime or of the ruling party, and even secure party identity cards to the same end.
This is why I have constructed the above title in view of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is often mentioned by the people of power as the cause of much insecurity in Uganda, and also in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in areas where the Uganda Peopled Defense Forces (UPDF) operates, ostensibly to help secure the Congolese against the destabilizing ADF.
Many Muslims have lost their lives. Sometimes it has been claimed that ADF killed them. Some have stayed in custody for a long time because they have been linked to ADF said to be a largely Muslim Rebel group.
Whenever there are bombings, mainly in Kampala, or mass killings in some parts of Uganda, especially Kasese, ADF is evoked. The only time ADF was not evoked to explain mass killings was when more than 100 human beings had their lives terminated in Kasese by soldiers under the command of a one Elwelu, and the King of the Rwenzururu arrested, incarcerated for an extended period of time, and only released recently.
One is not far-fetched to ask whether the majority of ADF are not deceptive muslims. During the rebel activities of the Front for National Salvation (FRONASA) against Idi Amin’s military regime in the 1970s, and commanded by a one Yoweri Museveni, many Christian elements in the file and rank of the rebel outfit adopted Arab names.
According to an article in the Daily Monitor of 1st January 2016, the top command of the FRONASA rebel group camouflaged themselves with Arab names. During Obote II, they also camouflaged themselves, according to a revelation by Major General Kahinda Otafitre during the burial of Professor Adoniya Tiberondwa in Bushenyi in 2004, that they also camouflaged themselves by wearing UPC Ti-shirts, apart from the uniform of the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLF), to which they had belonged and of which Yoweri Museveni was the political Head as Minister of Defense.
So during the days of FRONASA (in Idi Amin era) and Patriotic Resistance Army and National Resistance Army (in the Obote II era and Tito Okello era) the combatants of Yoweri Museveni invariably used Arab names. Yoweri Museveni himself used either Musa or Kassim; Caleb Akandwanaho used Salim Saleh; Fred Rwigyema, the pioneer commander of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (PRA) was Chefe Gisa; Mwine Kajungu became Chefe Ali; and Kangaho became Chefe Makosa. I failed to establish the name used by Rwanda’s strongman, Paul Kagame.
In a world of possibilities
(1) Could ADF combatants be Christians posing with Arab names just like their rebel counterparts in FRONASA PRA and NRA did?
(2) Could ADF be a creation of the NRM government itself, as many people claim, to rule Ugandans under fear by periodically evoking the rebel group to keep a cloud of insecurity over Uganda while assuring the Ugandans and the international community that the country is very secure and peaceful?
According to the 1st January 2023 article in the Daily Monitor, the FRONASA and by extension, PRA and NRA rebels, adopted Arab names as a psychological weapon. The article records: “They did not want a scenario where Idi Amin would use counter-propaganda to claim that Christians were fighting Muslims”.
Indeed the public wrongly perceived that FRONASA, PRA and NRA rebels were Muslims, which was not true. People like Haji Abdu Nadduli were extremely few among the rebel ranks. The overwhelming majority were Rwandese and Ugandan Christians. It was a nice strategy.
It earned the rebels enormous sympathy and moral and financial support domestically and internationally, although they were also strongly supported by the Anglo-American Axis of global power. In fact, Mammuar Gaddafi, the fallen strongman of Libya, became a very close ally of the rebels. Years later in Kampala he told President Tibuhaburwa Museveni (formally known just as Yoweri Museveni) that revolutionaries don’t retire. And indeed the President has shown no sign of saying “enough is enough”. It was unfortunate that when he was killed after 42 years in power, President Tibuhaburwa Museveni distanced himself from him in death, and is not remembered as having condemned the Americans who were behind his killing.
One thing is true. The Qu’ran, the Holy Book of Muslims, does not approve of many things that the ADF does – burning people, schools and indiscriminately kidnapping and killing men, women and children.
True Muslims would not do such things. I have been seriously reading the Qu’ran, and I thank Hon. Asuman Kiyingi who donated it to me in 2022. Many terrible things happening in Uganda, and committed by either ordinary Ugandans, Soldiers, policemen, government and ADF rebels, are not approved of by the Qu’ran. I am not a Muslim, and do not intend to become one, but the values and virtues that the Qu’ran professes, profesies and advocates are good for all humanity and all individuals.
I have always wondered whether the ADF rebels really believe in Islam and take the Qu’ran seriously. What they do is what Christians and people of other religions, such as Buddhism, have done for Centuries, yet the Qu’ran condemns them: killing, maiming, stealing, grabbing, etc.
What the Qu’ran Stipulates and Embodies.
Indeed the more I have read the Qu’ran the more I have wondered whether ADF is a largely Muslim outfit. What I have picked from it would be attractive to any human who craves for a peaceful and secure world, and for this matter, Uganda. Let me list for you some of what I have picked. The Qu’ran:
* Detests conflicts and war and even enslavement and exploitation of humanity
* Stresses education and intellectual development for all and decries those who violate these essentials of human development
* Detests hoading of money and commodities and prefers continuous circulation of both for a healthy economy
* Detests accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few and prefers that it is fairly distributed or dispersed among all people and communities
* Prefers distribution of inheritance to all heirs
* Prefers charity to loans and profiteering
* Prohibits aggression
* Detests corruption
* Prohibits wholesale condemnation of all religions
* Fully safeguards the rights of women and children
* Explains the rights, duties and obligations if women, men, children, parents, brothers, sister, husband’s, wives, daughters, neighbour, the poor, orphans, widows, strangers
* Takes government as no .ore than a trustee that should care for all and the security and safety of public money and property
* Was the first to establish democracy
* Demands that public servants discharge their obligations with honesty and integrity
* Detests people who assume absolute power and authority
* Does not take beneficient rule and administration as a matter of favour shown by the ruler to the ruled
* Stresses that sovereignty belongs to the people, and that those who the people entrust with power and authority are supposed to apply them on behalf of the people and God, not for their selfish interests
* Stresses that truth should be at the centre of government and the citizens
* Stresses diligence, and condemns cowardice, bullying and fanaticism
* Encourages the exercise of reason and reflection
* Does not permit enslavement and stresses the equality of humanity before God
*Warns those that arrogate any kind of superiority to themselves and submits that such people will be humbled and laid lower than those they mistreat
* It prohibits gambling of any kind and the use of intoxicants
* It prohibits the use of ornaments and silk garments by men
* It advises that in our search for the truth, we should seek assistance not only from reason and reflection but most importantly from God
Not only should Muslims but all humanity, including those in power and authority, or any position of leadership, take these qu’ranic values and virtues seriously to rebuild and reconstruct the kind of humanity that God desired to inhabit the earth in harmony with other beings and nature.
We need harmonious interactions amongst ourselves and other beings amongst all ecologies and environment to ensure sustainability of anything. We are faced ecological and environmental decay and collapse because we have ignored these important qu’ranic values and virtues. Conferences and summits will not restore humanity, sanity and livable ecologies and environments, but commitment to these virtues and values will
If ADF rebels are Muslims, then they should adhere to the counsel of the Qu’ran agaist destruction of life, aggression, conflicts and wars.
If they are not Muslims but a deceptive outfit to sustain hotspots of instability and insecurity in order to deceive and dominate others, then the designers should follow the qu’ranic counsel of seeking and ensuring the truth through reason and reflection as well as putting God at the centre of everything they conceive and do to ensure genuine peace, security, harmony and sustainability of ecologies, environments, humanity and future.
For God and My Country.