The purpose of this press release is to liaise with you in sharing information to counter terrorism so that all Ugandans and all the residents of this country can know. I would like to inform you that within this period, we are on a heightened alert because of the information that we have. Through our own intelligence activities and through sharing with our counterparts, we have been able to arrive at this information.
We have information to the effect that the Al-Shabab have hatched more plans to attack us and possibly, some of them are already within the country and others want to infiltrate into the country for purposes of carrying out a terrorist attack in this country.
This is not for purposes of making them live under fear, we shall never accept or allow the terrorist to change our way of life. We are promising that we will continue doing all it takes to make sure that our citizens and residents are safe.
The purpose is to share this information so that our people on their part can take the necessary measures as individuals to safe guard themselves as we also take the necessary measure to safe guard them in as far as cubing terrorism is concerned.
v And therefore we call upon our people to take interest in personal security. To be conscious of what is happening around in our environment so that they are able to pick out the suspicious elements and articles in case they appear within their environment.
v We are also encouraging our people to get interested, not only in their own localized environment but to get involved in what we call neighborhood watch. This is because we are clearly aware that your own security is inter-linked with the security of those surrounding you and therefore we call upon all the people to pick interest in what happens around their general surrounding to be able to have total security to deny the wrong elements an area in which they want to operate from.
v People should also take seriously the issues of premises security and access control to areas which attract many people. There should be a way of making sure that people and articles are accounted for within such environments. Where possible, we would encourage people to use screening equipment like metal detectors, handheld x-ray machines, etc.
v On top of that, we encourage people to have serious observation capacity so that they are able to pick out those who may be suspicious.
v Ensure that all staff are properly identified in the environments. All people who are supposed to be in a certain place are properly identified so that it becomes easy to isolate those who are not part of that environment.
v We also encourage very seriously people who are involved in organizing events. You are aware that events are one area which can attract the terrorist because in many cases when they are not secured, they become soft targets, therefore an easy attraction for the terrorist to think of attacking. We have the European Football Cup, Martyrs Day, we have Hero’s Day and we also have the Cranes match against Guinea Bissau and Ekitobero event of Radio CBS.
There are also those events which are general in nature. For example, in areas like Kabalagala, Wandegeya were its continuous which is important that we take full care of these areas. These are activities which are bound to attract a good number of people and we need to take good security measure and we will defiantly do. The biggest point of interest is the cooperation and coordination of all those people who are organizing those events.
v We also encourage people to take good care of fuel stations within the city and also not to allow people to park within these fuel stations. It is only those vehicles which have a purpose like fueling, servicing, and related issues but not just parking there. But I would also like to add that we as security organs, are doing all it takes to ensure that terrorist activities do not take place within the confines of this country. We have put all measures in place and this is an assurance to our people adding that total success also depends on the participation of all the good intentioned Ugandans and residents.
It is very important that all of us participate in this aspect because that is when we are going to achieve maximum success. However, this should not deter us from carrying out our day-to-day activities. The only caution is to have that consciousness about our own security and the security of our own environment.
About the opposition thinking that this alert is to scare them, am just coming from a meeting with the IGP and various Opposition leaders to share with them those particular threats on this country that Al-Shabab is having plans of attacking some of our political leaders so that they cause some effect in as far as terrorism is concerned.
Why they would specifically target Political leaders; part of the answer is with the terrorist but on our part, it doesn’t surprise us because terrorists do certain acts for other purpose.
What happened to us on 11th July, 2010, one would have wondered, why attack those innocent young people who are watching a football match? What about the politicians.
The media should help us to communicate to all the concerned not to get fatigued but to do what they are supposed to do to ensure security within all public places.
As police, we have put measures in place –we have heightened on our security in as far as border control systems are concerned, we are very watchful on a good number of our strategic assets and strategic locations.
We have put extra measures along our roads, please accept some of those inconveniences, but they are for a good cause.
We are working together as a team with all the national security agencies to make sure that we remain on top of this situation.
AIGP Byakagaba Abasi
Director Counter Terrorism Uganda Police Force
27th May 2011
Fax: 0414 343421
P.O. Box 7055 Kampala, Uganda