Police arrest suspected al-Shabaab terrorists

Police officers under the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation undergo anti-terror drills at Namboole Stadium in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA.

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Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura calls for vigilance, saying terrorists plan to attack Uganda and Burundi for their role in Somalia.


The Inspector General of Police, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura, has said that the Force have arrested suspected terrorists who wanted to carry out terror attacks in Uganda.

Gen. Kayihura, who declined to give details of the number of the arrested suspected terrorists and their nationalities, said detectives are interrogating them. “The terror is real and people shouldn’t take it lightly. We got intelligence reports that there is a cell of al-Shabaab terrorists who want to attack Uganda and Burundi. But we have made some arrests and our officers are interrogating them,” Gen. Kayihura said yesterday. He made the revelation at the opening of the 15th council for the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation (EAPCCO) aimed at combating terrorism in Kampala.

The EAPCCO comprises 12 countries, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Comoros, Seychelles, Rwanda, Burundi and Madagascar. His statements comes a day after suspected terrorists carried out attacks in Arusha, Tanzania and Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. At least a dozen people were killed in the twin bombings in Somalia while one person and several others were injured in a blast in Arusha, Tanzania on Sunday.

Police say al-Shabaab insurgents want to attack Uganda and Burundi in retaliation for their participation in an Africa Union-led peacekeeping mission in a war-torn Somalia. Gen. Kayihura said there is need of concerted effort in the region to fight terrorism in the region. “Terrorism has no boundaries and the groups that want to cause havoc are operating in the entire region so we need to cooperate that is why we are carrying out joint field exercises,” he said.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Eng. Hillary Onek, said efforts by the police chiefs must be backed by political will. “Indeed without the political will of the various member states, it is very difficult to make a breakthrough in the realisation of our objectives. Definitely, because of your unwavering support, we have been able to make strides on our journey,” Eng. Onek told EAPCCO police chiefs.