Islamic extremist leader, detained in Tanzania, fights extradition home to Uganda
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – An Islamic extremist leader appeared in a Tanzania court on Friday to challenge his extradition home to Uganda, where he is wanted for allegedly ordering deadly attacks on civilians in the 1990s.
Jamil Mukulu also is wanted in Congo, where the government says he is responsible for many more and recent massacres as leader of the Allied Democratic Forces.
At Dar es Salaam Magistrate's Court, Magistrate Cyprian Mkeha said he would hear Mukulu's submissions against the Ugandan extradition request on May 25.
Mukulu is expected to argue that he will not get a fair trial in the country where he was born and grew up.
The ADF originated in Uganda in the 1990s but for years has been operating in the forests of eastern Congo.
In the latest attack blamed on Mukulu's fighters, the rebels used machetes and axes to slaughter 23 people during an overnight assault on villages near Beni town a week ago.
Mukulu already was in detention. He was arrested at his home in Dar es Salaam earlier this year after an apparent tip-off, according to Asan Kasingye, the head of Interpol in Uganda.
He is on a U.S. sanctions list and Interpol had issued an international warrant for his arrest.
A convert to Islam, Mukulu is accused of ordering a 1998 massacre in which scores of Ugandan students were burned to death in their dormitories in a town near the Congo border.
His group also is blamed for a series of deadly bomb blasts in Uganda's capital, Kampala, in the late 1990s before a military operation forced the rebels to set up camp in eastern Congo.
Mukulu's group originally said it was fighting the alleged marginalization of Ugandan Muslims.