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Govt, Security speak out on UK terror alert to Uganda

The Ministry of Defence has assured the people of Uganda that security agencies across the country are on high alert to avert any possible terror threat in Uganda targeting both local and Foreign nationals.

Ministry of defence spokesperson Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye (Photo/Courtesy)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Ministry of Defence has assured the people of Uganda that security agencies across the country are on high alert to avert any possible terror threat in Uganda targeting both local and Foreign nationals.

The ministry was responding to a travel advisory warning issued by the UK government over the weekend in which it stated that terrorists were very likely to try to carry out attacks in Uganda and alerted its British citizens to stay on high alert.

Although the UK government did not necessarily indicate the threat level in Uganda, it noted that “there is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals.”

“You should 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,” a travel advisory posted on the UK government website reads in part.

However, according to defence spokesperson Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, the Government of Uganda cares for the security of all those within its boundaries.

“We do not have a specific threat. Terrorism is a threat across the world and as you are aware the UK itself, US and France have been attacked before. Terrorism has no borders and does not look for colour,” Kulayigye said on Sunday, July 2, 2023.

He added; “This country is not governed by the UK. This country has a government that cares about the security of its people. The security agents here have been on alert and that is why we are able to burst terror cells wherever they are.”

Kulayigye further emphasized that Uganda has not had any major terrorist attacks and this was not because terrorists were kind to it, but it is because they had been deterred by security agencies.

“People should be vigilant. The security agencies are vigilant and once we work together, we will defeat every threat to this country as we have done before,” Kulayigye said.

The UK travel advisory comes barely a month after a group linked to the Islamic State group massacred over 40 people in an attack on a school in Kasese District- and follows a string of blasts in Uganda’s capital.

For example; on June 16, 2023, the Ugandan police attributed to militants (the Allied Democratic Forces – ADF) an attack on a school in Mpondwe, Kasese District, western Uganda, close to the border with DR Congo where 44 people were killed.

On November 16, 2021, terrorists used two explosive devices in central Kampala killing four and injuring 33 people. Two further explosive devices were disarmed by the police.

On October 25, 2021, terrorists used an explosive device on a coach travelling on the Kampala to Masaka road near Mpigi killing one person.

On October 23, 2021, terrorists used an explosive device to attack a restaurant in Kamamboga, a suburb in the northeast of Kampala, killing one person and injuring several others.

The UK government further listed the July 2010 bomb attacks in Kampala at venues screening the World Cup final killing over 70 people and injuring many more.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility and linked the attacks to Uganda’s military presence in Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM), and threatened further attacks in the region. Daesh (The Islamic State of Iraq) has claimed responsibility for some of the more recent attacks in Uganda.

The UK noted that the Ugandan authorities continue to work to reduce the risk of further attacks and that there may be additional security checks, including baggage and car searches in public places, including hotels.

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