Great: How Security Forces Successfully Managed Kampala Twin Bombings

By Moses K. Mutebi

On the November 16th 2021, a tragedy befell our nation’s capital after
suicide bombers detonated two separate bombs one at Central police
station Kampala and the other at Jubilee Insurance Offices next to
parliament.

This led to the death of 6 people including 3 civilians and 3 suicide
bombers leaving several others injured.

This has been the second biggest terrorist attack against Uganda after
the one in 2010 at Kyadondo Ruby grounds and Ethiopian village
Kabalagala which targeted revelers who were watching the world cup
football final match and killed over 70 people.

It was terrorism eye opener for Uganda and our security agencies this
time have been more alert and rapidly took charge to rescue the
situation in order to save lives and restore normalcy in the city.

First to respond to the two incidents was the police, the intelligence
squads and the military who managed to secure the scenes of crime,
evacuate the victims and ensured law and order.

The Uganda police force and sister security agencies working with the
International Red Cross Society, Kampala Capital City Authority also
quickly evacuated those that were hurt due to bomb fragments using on
standby ambulances to hospitals like KCCA hospital and Mulago national
referral hospital.

The Uganda Police medical teams alongside the Ministry of health and
Red Cross also aided in the treatment of the injured people thus
lowering the death toll by providing much needed first aid.

The quick response and the cordoning off the scenes of crime and the
surroundings by the security forces not only helped in speedy
evacuations of the victims but also helped stop the enemy from taking
advantage of the panic to carry out more blasts.

In so doing, the security forces managed to find and diffuse other
bombs before they were set off. One of the bombs was discovered and
detonated from a top an electric transformer near Kooki towers while
another one was picked near Buganda road court entrance.

If security forces had not dismantled the one at Kooki tower
transformer and it went off, Kampala would be in ashes because it
would have caused more destructions and deaths in the city center.

In all the confusion that had hit the city, the security forces kept
levelled heads and clear minds to find the perpetrators of this
cowardly attack.

They managed to capture and arrest one of the suicide bombers Musa
Mudasir from Katooke, Nansana municipality before he could detonate
another bomb found at his residence.
His capture and the information he shared has guided intelligence
services to conduct rapid counter terror operations that have seen ADF
suspects arrested in the areas of Ntoroko, Bundibugyo districts and in
Kampala .

ADF key coordinators operating recruitment cells in the city like
Sheikh Muhammad Kirevu was put out of action while trying to run away.
This means that with the rich information security got from this man,
more arrests will be made in the due course.

The police was also able to achieve this by working with the community
due to constant mobilizations and popular vigilance because the
population was able to give information to police in real time about
the suspect now the deceased.

The bomb squad was dispatched and unexploded bomb was dismantled
safely before it could blast.

The security forces have in past done such commendable job in tracking
down members of the domestic terror cells in Uganda where by over 150
terror plots have so far been foiled.

In August this year, security forces managed to foil an attempted
suicide attack at the burial of the late Maj. Gen Paul Lokech in Pader
district, Northern.
They arrested a man identified as Katumba Abdul who was found with
bomb making materials to be used to bomb the funeral ceremony.

Furthermore, after the attempted assassination on Gen Edward Katumba
Wamala, the police arrested suspects, Sserubula Hussein Ismael and
Nyanzi Yusuf Siraji who were charged with murder of two people and two
other counts of attempted murder.

Security also been able to put out of action a number of terrorists
who were trying to fight security and resisting arrests during that
operation.
The work of security agencies have been greatly aided by the presence
of CCTV cameras across major cities and highways, thanks to the
government of Uganda under the strategic guidance of President
Museveni.

From the arrest of Gen Katumba assassins to the capture of the suicide
bombers, highway robberies, murderers etc, the cameras have proven to
be a great security investment for this country.

The cameras which were put in place at the insistence of the President
have greatly helped to identify the enemy, solve and reduce crimes
unlike in the past where investigators only depended on eye witnesses.

With the help of these cameras, the country registered a decline in
the crime rate by 28% from 742 in 2015 to 534 per 100,000 persons as
of 2019 with over 3000 installed in Kampala.
This means that with our CCTV cameras, security is now able to
conduct correct operations on a right target like the ongoing
crackdown against the ADF cells in the country because cameras
identified them.

However, the fight against terrorism may not be over for today but we
are in the right direction which requires all Ugandans to help
security
forces to defeat the enemy through vigilance and reporting to police
wrong elements in their societies.
In view of the above, I would like to denounce the perpetrators of the
diversionary views such as those accusing government for witch-hunting
Muslims since criminality knows no religion.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Long live the Pearl of Africa.

The author is a Great Lakes regional security analyst

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