United States of America explained that despite the fact that Uganda has strong military capabilities compared to other countries in the region, it is still vulnerable to terrorism due to internal weaknesses.
Meanwhile, security agencies have been carrying out several raids and arrests around the country, which they claim to be targeting terror cells linked to Allied Democratic Forces and Uganda Coalition Front for Change.
“The vulnerability is at least in part due to porous borders, corruption, a lack of trust and information sharing among disparate security services, diversion of security force capabilities to focus on opposition politicians, an overly militarised approach to combating violent extremism within Uganda, and the security forces’ poor relations with local communities and civil society,” US Department of State report stated.
Uganda security agencies have been carrying out several raids and arrests around the country, which they claim to be targeting terror cells linked to Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and Uganda Coalition Front for Change.
According to the police report, there was a drop of terror-related cases from 21 incidents in 2021 to 15 last year. Several police stations were attacked, leading to death of police officers and loss of guns. Security forces recovered 30 of the 38 guns that were stolen. Eleven people were arrested on terror charges last year, according to the police crime report of 2022.
According to the US report, Uganda law enforcement officers have been accused of torturing Muslims they suspect to be having affiliation with ADF, which has created bad relations with the local community and is hindering the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
In response to the US report, the spokesman of the Defence Ministry and Uganda People’s Defence Forces, Brig Felix Kulayigye, said all countries including the US are vulnerable to terrorism, but Uganda’s security forces are doing all it takes to prevent such attacks.
“I don’t fully agree with the US report on other aspects like our relationship with the people. Our relationship with the people has been strong. The incidents of indiscipline are individual cases but not a policy of the UPDF,” Brig Kulayigye said.