UPDF has said it is still verifying the arrest of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Jamil Mukulu, in Tanzania.
The Chief of Defence Forces, General Katumba Wamala, told NTV yesterday that the evidence before them is inconclusive on whether a man who is being held in custody in Tanzania, is actually Mukulu.
“The information we have is that he was arrested by the Tanzania government. We are working with Tanzania to see if we can get to him and confirm. We cannot conclusively confirm that the person under custody is Jamil Mukulu,” Katumba said.
Mukulu who has been on Interpol’s red notice, the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today, was rumoured arrested last week.
Gen. Katumba says Interpol Uganda will be traveling to Tanzania to further establish this man’s status.
Interpol, police still verifying as well, not confirmed
Media reports last week quoted Asan Kasingye, the director of Interpol in Uganda, as having spoken on Mukulu’s arrest and that Uganda and Tanzania were working to extradite the rebel chief.
Media also quoted police deputy police spokesperson, Polly Namaye, as having “confirmed the arrest of Mukulu on accusations of murder, terrorism and treason, among other crimes”.
Yesterday, The Insider contacted the army spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, who distanced himself from the reports saying it was Interpol handling the matter.
We then talked to the Interpol boss, Kasingye, this morning who denied have handled the matter at all, tossing it back to the matter.
“I have not talked to any journalist about the matter. We haven’t confirmed anything of the sort to any media house,” Kasingye told us on phone.
Reuters and Associated Press both quoted the Uganda Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, as having said the man arrested in Tanzania was “believed to be Mukulu”, the leader of an Islamist rebel group blamed for various deadly attacks in Western Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Insider also talked to Enanga Friday morning but the spokesperson said he had not got any confirmation yet but was waiting for more intelligence.
“We have the report, yes, but we have not confirmed whether the captured rebel is Mukulu,” Enanga told us redirecting us that Katumba’s comments on NTV.
ADF announced its existence in Uganda in 1996 with an attack on Mpondwe town at the border with DR Congo.
The attack was repulsed after several days of fighting but ADF remained active in the Rwenzori sub-region for many years thereafter.
The guerrilla outfit was eventually weakened but it remains a security threat, recruiting youths in different parts of Uganda and masterminding sporadic attacks inside Uganda and Congo.
Over the years, some of their fighters have been captured or killed while others have surrendered and obtained amnesty.
Mukulu’s organisation – the Alliance of Democratic Forces – National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) – is allied to elements of Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents.
Forced out of Uganda in the mid-2000s, the ADF-NALU operates from bases in the mountains of eastern Congo and UN officials estimate that it has between 1,200 and 1,400 fighters.
There is fear that ADF-NALU could pose a security threat to its Albertine oil fields if left unchallenged in Congo’s loosely governed east.
Mukulu has been subjected to targeted UN sanctions since 2011, ADF-NALU was added to the sanctions list in 2014.
He is said to had masterminded the gruesome murder of about 80 students at Kichwamba Technical Institute in 1998.
Of recent, ADF rebels are said to be involved in the murder of Muslim clerics in Uganda.
Mukulu has been severally summoned by Ugandan courts alongside Dr Aggrey Kiyingi to answer charges of murder.