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TERROR SUSPECTS KILLED AND ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH BOMBINGS IN KAMPALA

Uganda

On Monday 22 November, Ugandan security services reported that up to seven suspects had been killed and as many as 106 others detained in the ongoing operation to combat terror suspects connected to the 16 November triple suicide bombings in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. Four of the killed suspected terrorists were shot by counterterrorism officers in western Uganda as they attempted to cross into the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Other fatalities included a local Islamist leader said to be responsible for reawakening terror cells in Kampala, who was killed near the capital as he tried to escape arrest. A search is underway for another prominent cleric believed to be radicalising potential recruits and providing materials to make improvised explosive devices. The arrested suspects are believed to be part of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group that pledged allegiance to the IS group in 2019. The ADF, which was founded in Uganda in the 1990s, has allegedly killed and displaced many civilians in the eastern DRC, where they are currently based. Tuesday’s attacks, which were the latest incidents in a string of terror attacks in Uganda in recent weeks, killed at least three people in addition to the suicide bombers and injured more than 30 others. The first bomb detonated near a police station, while the second attack was carried out only minutes later by two suicide bombers driving motorbikes on a street near the parliament building. Police reportedly foiled a possible third attack. Some analysts attribute Uganda becoming a greater terrorism target to Ugandan forces’ involvement in peacekeeping activities in the region and President Yoweri Museveni’s policies supposedly side-lining the Muslim minority. There is not only great concern within Uganda over the increase in terror attacks but also regionally that peace across the continent will be threatened if the anger and hostilities, exploited by the IS group, is not urgently addressed.

FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

UGANDA
POPULATION: ±47 MILLION CHRISTIAN: 83.7%
EVANGELICAL:  33.74%
UNREACHED GROUPS: 5 (2.5% of pop.)

An INcontext contact shared that the Church’s response to the recent wave of attacks in Uganda and the general increased security threat has included many local churches increasing their internal security measures where possible, such as installing cameras and metal detectors, employing guards, and in some cases even prohibiting bags from entering the church. At the same time, a national movement of prayer that has been initiated for over a year to mobilise “warriors” and “watchers” in the Kingdom of God to confront the Kingdom of darkness through organised spiritual warfare has gained further momentum. A group called the ‘Intercessors for Uganda’ have organised prayer patrols in many areas as part of a countrywide campaign to see God’s redemptive purposes for Uganda realised, as well as throughout Africa. The recent attacks are seen as a reaction to what God is doing in the nation as the saints take responsibility to pray from their position and calling in Christ. The ‘Intercessors for Uganda’ believe that other cities will be targeted in the ongoing plot to sow terror in the country, as well as in churches. The global Church can partner with the Ugandan Church in praying for the Lord’s redemptive plans in Uganda to prevail while exposing and foiling the plans of those seeking to bring destruction, chaos, and fear. We can also pray that Ugandan believers would remain alert and watchful but not fearful as they bear witness to those around them who are shaken and anxious.

Please pray with us for the following:

  • For unresolved anger, hostility, and tension between groups to be addressed in such a way that groups can work peacefully together for the good of Uganda and the region
  • For the Lord, “mighty in battle”, to expose and foil the plans of terror groups and any evil forces seeking to harm Uganda, the region, and the continent at large
  • For the Ugandan Church to remain watchful, prayerful, and faith-filled as they fight the spiritual battle raging over their nation

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File photo: REUTERS/Abubaker Lubowa

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