Businessman Receives 9 Year Sentence for Recruiting Children into ADF

nine suspects committed to high court for adf terrorism trial
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Convicted for ADF Recruitment

In a recent ruling by the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala, Ismail Sewanyana, a 42 year-old Ugandan businessman, has been sentenced to nine years in prison. His crime involved recruiting his own children into the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a recognized terrorist organization in Uganda. Sewanyana was also found guilty of being a member of the ADF.

Sewanyana’s co-conspirators, numbering six, were given prison terms ranging from seven to ten years. Notably, the court deducted the time the accused had spent in remand at Luzira Prison, reducing their sentences accordingly.

The convicted individuals are as follows:

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  • Ismail Sewanyana
  • Jamil Muwonge, also known as Moses Jama
  • Ibrahim Kavuma
  • Uthman Mugoya, also known as Ibrahim Nawanzu
  • Luutu Kimuli, also known as Mabira
  • Juma Swabalu Sekiti, also known as Mayuge
  • Daniel Kaaya, also known as Shafic

The conviction took place after the seven individuals entered a guilty plea for their involvement in rebel activities. They had negotiated a plea bargain with the prosecution, guided by their lawyer, Geoffrey Turyamusiima. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was represented by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Thomas Jatiko and Senior State Attorney Lillian Omara.

During the proceedings, the presiding judge, Justice Susan Okalany, admonished Ismail Sewanyana for recruiting his own children into the ADF, asserting that he had profoundly disrupted their future. She emphasized that Islam encourages the education and protection of children, responsibilities which Sewanyana had failed to fulfill.

According to the prosecution, Sewanyana had employed fraudulent means, abuse of power, or the manipulation of his children’s vulnerability to recruit and transport them to ADF camps in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). The purpose of this recruitment was for sexual exploitation or forced labor.

Meanwhile, Justice Okalany directed that the case file be assigned to another judge to continue the trial of the remaining accused persons. These individuals, including Andrew Kaweesi, also known as Andey, Ahamed Ssebuwufu, also known as Kamada, Mariam Kasujja, Hamuza Mwebe, Sulaiman Ismael Ssebowa, and Sulaiman Ssenfuka, have denied the charges and will face a separate trial.

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