KAMPALA, UGANDA: The joint anti-terrorism operations team has held 59 terror suspects for more than 70-days without trial.
In his address on November 20, President Yoweri Museveni said that up to 106 terror suspects had been arrested for their involvement in subversive activities.
Out of 106 mentioned by Museveni, only 47 have been charged in different courts, leaving the status of 59 terror suspects unknown.
Some of the suspects were arrested during the hunt for alleged terror suspects who planned to bomb mourners at the funeral of Deputy Inspector General of Police Gen Paul Lokech in Pader district in August last year, while others were arrested in the aftermath of an attack on Gen Edward Katumba Wamala’s vehicle, an incident that left his daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver Sgt Haruna Kayondo dead.
The Spokesperson of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), Charles Twine says that they have not heard about anyone reported to have disappeared in custody and this means they are able to account for everyone.
“If the fish comes from under the water and it tells you a crocodile has one eye, who are you to refuse? Twine said in reference to the numbers that were presented by President Yoweri Museveni.
“Of course, there are some people who get bond, there are some people who get court bail. That shouldn’t take much of your time. Are you saying that they are not anywhere to be seen? Are you saying there is the disappearance of so many people? We can always meet and compare notes. But we have accountability for all our actions, there is no cause for alarm,” Twine said.
Operations against ADF and other rebel groups intensified in October and November after Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) started going off in various parts of Kampala.
The first one went off in Komamboga on October 23, a second one was blown inside Swift Bus on October 25 followed by twin bombings that exploded on November 16.
City lawyer Geoffrey Turyamusiima who has been following up on the arrest, detention and trial of ADF linked suspects said he is aware that more than 40 people are being detained without trial.
Turyamusiima said some of the people still being held are relatives of suspects who have already been charged in courts.
Other suspects are linked to the attack on Uganda People Defence Force (UPDF) detach in Zombo district where a soldier was killed. Some of the suspects linked to the Zombo attack were arrested from Buikwe district.