London-based Ugandans captured training rebels in the DRC

By Henry D Gombya

The Ruwenzori Mountain Ranges in Uganda where the ADF has been based for many years.

Two well-known Ugandans living in London are under detention in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been captured by a Congolese rebel movement after they travelled to the war-ravaged country to try and train members of a Ugandan-led Islamist group based around the Ruwenzori Mountains.

The names of Hood Sempebwa and Habib Kiwanuka have been revealed in an interim report of the United Nations Group of Experts. Dated June 21, 2012 and signed by Agshin Mehdiyev, Chair of the United Nations Security Council, the letter stipulates that Sempebwa and Kiwanuka, who both hold Ugandan and British citizenship, were arrested by the Forces  Démocratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) were captured after they went to train rebels belonging to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) which is considered by the UN Security Council as a foreign armed group operating in the DRC that ‘impedes the disarmament and voluntary repatriation or resettlement of ADF combatants, as described in paragraph 4 (b) of UN resolution 1857 (2008)’.

In his letter to members of the Security Council, a copy of which has landed on our News Desk, Chief Mehdiyev says Sempebwa and Kiwanuka had travelled to Beni territory in the DRC to conduct the training of ADF rebels. He said shortly after being captured, the ADF showed the importance of the two Ugandans when it launched an attack against the FDLR to try and free them. The attempt ended in failure.

The UN Security Council report further says Kiwanuka was ‘a critical liaison officer’ for the ADF in London. He had gone to the DRC to help coordinate ADF activities in the DRC. The report says the two Ugandans who were captured in November last year, have since been transferred to the authority of President Kabila’s security forces. But Ugandans in London who know Hood Sempebwa very well are wondering how a man who has never been in the military could have gone to train rebels in Africa, leaving his wife and children here in London on their own.

The Security Council, the report adds, will ask both the British and Ugandan governments to cooperate with it in trying to ‘identify the financial networks in which Mr Sempebwa and Mr Kiwanuka were involved’. The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) has cooperated with the UN Group of Experts to identify the ADF, alongside the FDLR and the Forces Nationale de Liberation (FNL) as being the three principal foreign armed groups currently operating in the DRC.

Jamil Mukulu, 48, a Ugandan born in Ntooke Village in Ntenjeru Sub County, Kayunga District, has been identified by the Security Council as the ADF Supreme Commander. “The Group has received initial reports that Mr Mukulu has been present in the DRC with ADF combatants in recent months,” the report says. It adds: “During its current mandate, the Group is investigating both local financial arrangements as well as external financing of [the] ADF.” It wants to particularly find out the role played by regional and international support networks coordinated by Mukulu.

It reports that Mukulu’s residence in Nairobi was last year raided by Kenyan police during which his son Hassan was captured. Information and documents seized by Kenyan police during this raid have been requested by the UN Group. Further revelations regarding the UN Report will appear here in the following days. These will include further names of those involved in the killing of innocent civilians in the DRC, especially the Gatumba massacre in which 32 people were mercilessly butchered by the FNL. We will also reveal what the Group says about the assistance given to the DRC rebels by some of the region’s most respected leaders. Do not miss reading about these astonishing revelations.

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