JOINT COUNTER-TERROR TEAMS REMAIN COMMITTED TO THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
Last week, the UK Embassy in Uganda issued a terror alert to its citizens in Uganda and those planning to travel to Uganda. They urged those in the Country to be vigilant at all times, especially in crowded areas and public places like hotels, transport hubs, restaurants, and bars and during major gatherings like sporting or religious events, and when in close proximity to Government buildings or security installations such as Police stations, among others. Many Ugandans are expressing fear simply because some of the previous alerts from a few Embassies, have been followed with actual terror attacks.
The way the advisory was released, makes it difficult for the Joint Security Agencies to determine, the specific threats other than the general information, the alert and advisory do not mention the terrorists, their targets, and whether the threats are imminent or not. We do, however, acknowledge their concern, and are using the general information, to determine what protective security response may be required.
Over the years, our Country Uganda, has been generally peaceful, but with existing threats from a known enemy the ADF. Last month they attacked Lhubirira Secondary School, where 38 children were killed, and others were put at risk prior to that, using their domestic cells, the ADF carried out targeted attacks, on Police officers, Police stations, other high-profile individuals, businessmen, and communities in Komamboga and Butambala.
Despite these incidents, a resurgence of the ADF, inside the Country, remains significantly lower.
Their bases in the DRC were dismantled, giving them a severe blow. In addition, their domestic cells in Uganda were also dismantled and their collaborations/ agents were rounded up.
As a Country, we need to maintain our resolve. The Community must share responsibility for our security and stand with the Joint Security Agencies, to demonstrate that there is no space for terrorism in Uganda. We further urge the public not to provide shelters for terrorist groups, or even supply them with recruits for radicalization, as this will only give them a base to attack Ugandans more.
Our focus therefore is to empower the whole community to remain alert and maintain the safety and security of those places, where they live, work, and socialise.
If you see or hear something unusual, or suspicious, report it to the Police. Any piece of information could be important. In addition, stay informed and prepared for emergency situations. Be aware and watchful of people using recording equipment like camera phones or seen making notes and sketches, people paying close attention to specific entry and exit points, people loitering at or near premises for long periods, watching staff, visitors, and deliveries, people asking about buildings, room layouts, security or parking, etc.
As the JSA, our priority still remains to keep Ugandans safe. we are working hard to prevent the proliferation of terrorist groups in the Country. Already a wide range of covert and overt policing tactics are in place, such as high visibility policing at a variety of locations. We are also working with partners at all levels, to help their capacity and protect their places. These include the private sector, partners including proprietors of critical transportation, infrastructures, places of worship, other community spaces, faith-based businesses, and school partnerships.
In addition, our Joint Intelligence components continue to share information and intelligence, to prevent all forms of targeted violence and terrorism. For instance, on 29.06.2023 at around 11:30 am, 3 ADF suspects were put out of action during a gunfire exchange, at their hideout in Toonde village, Nsala Parish Lwamate sub-county, in Kiboga district. An SMG rifle with 25 rounds of ammunition was recovered at the scene.
We also arrested one Adomat Christopher a 42-year-old resident of Bazaar cell, Arua district with a consignment of suspected explosives, that he was attempting to smuggle through Mutukula on 26.06.2023 at 4:00 pm. He claims they were given by a Tanzanian businessman only known as Donald, for him to transport them to the DRC for gold mines.
SCP Enanga Fred
3rd July 2023