Ugandan police have enhanced security in parts of the country, especially eastern Uganda, following alleged warnings of major attacks by Al-Shabaab – a Somalia-based terror group – in the area.
Given that Uganda has been a target of Al-Shabaab’s past terror endeavors in the East African region, authorities aren’t leaving anything to chance. Security in Mbale town and other parts of Uganda, including Kampala, has been tightened with increased vigilance at key border points including Amudat, Malaba, Suam, Lwakhakha and especially the most porous ones.
“We have deployed to tighten our security and although it is true that we can’t reach everywhere, we shall do everything to provide security to Ugandans amid these threats,” said Elgon Police spokesperson Ms Diana Nandawula.
Reports from the police indicate that the Somali militant group had issued a warning through a letter that was reportedly dropped at Mbale Central Police Station by a motorcycle rider on April 4. Ms Nandawula confirmed that the motorcycle rider has since been arrested and is assisting the police with vital information about the alleged attack.
Confirming the warning, the police spokesperson said the motorcycle rider admitted to delivering the letter to Elgon Police Station. “Already he has said he found a man standing at Elgon Regional Police block who asked him to deliver the letter to police,” said Ms Nandawula.
Previous Threats and Attacks
Since Ugandan troops joined AMISOM (Africa’s Mission in Somalia) in 2007, Al-Shabaab has staged several attacks in the landlocked country, leaving dozens of people dead and many others injured.
In 2010, the terror group carried out a major attack In Kabalagala, Uganda, during which a suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a crowd of football fans who had gathered at the Ethiopian Village restaurant to watch the FIFA World Cup Finals. That attack left fifteen people dead and scores injured.
On the same night, the terror group staged another attack at Kyadondo Rugby Club in Nakawa, Uganda, where News Vision, a state-run newspaper, was screening the match. According to witnesses, the second explosion went off in the 90th minute of the match, killing 49 people.
Since these two major attacks, there have been numerous terror threats from the terror group, but Ugandan authorities have always kept vigil, ensuring that none of these threats materializes.