By Annisa Essack
On Thursday, Uganda charged 15 people with offences including terrorism and aiding terrorism related to their alleged role in bombings in the country’s capital and elsewhere in October and November that left at least nine people dead.
On Nov. 16, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of a police station in the centre of Kampala. Within minutes, two other suicide bombers detonated along a road that led to the parliament. The bombings killed at least seven people, including the bombers, and injured dozens.
In October, at least two people were killed in two other bombings, one at a restaurant and another on a bus.
The Islamic State (IS), allied with the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), claimed responsibility for the police station and restaurant attacks.
According to a charge sheet, the 15 people, among other accusations, “intentionally and unlawfully, manufactured, delivered, placed, and detonated an improvised explosive device … with intent to cause death or serious bodily injuries” to influence the government or intimidate the public.
The ADF, which originated in Uganda, has been operating for more than three decades in the dense forests in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo across the border with Uganda and began targeting civilians in 2014.
The October and November attacks prompted the Ugandan military to deploy in eastern Congo to take on the insurgents in late November.
The suspects were remanded until Jan. 13, when they will appear in court again.