This article provides a detailed analysis of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan rebel movement that is operating from Congolese soil but so far has attracted very limited scholarly attention. Having its roots in Ugandan Islamic community, it has become part of larger transborder dynamics of rebellion and resistance. It is argued that although its institution is linked to several internal dynamics in Uganda, the movement’s character has been largely shaped by the specific characteristics of the Uganda–DRC Rwenzori borderland, where it became a key player of local power struggles and conflicts.

The article provides a detailed account of the origins, characteristics and strategies of the ADF, its integration into Congolese society and its impact on local and regional dynamics of conflict.