Police have reiterated that the arrested persons are not targeted for their beliefs, ideology, religion, because that would make them, appear biased.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga revealed that public should know that as long any individual or groups partakes in, engages or conspires to engage in, facilitates the engagement of acts of violence, or commit other crimes of violence they are deemed to be in total breach of the law and the peace and safety of Ugandans. We shall definitely pursue them and ensure they are all brought to justice.
In further efforts to deter and disrupt terrorism, we are actively monitoring all spaces in homes, places of worship, which are acting as domains for recruitment and as collection centres, for children who are introduced to ideological messages and beliefs. Our intelligence teams have gathered materials and accounts from children rescued or recovered.
They have indicated how some of their friends are taken away to an unknown destination. For instance, our teams are actively searching for Sheikh Rwangabo, who is on the run after we raided a suspected recruitment and radicalization centre, in Kasengejje village, Kasengjje parish, Wakiso town council, in Wakiso district. However, two of the coordinators identified as Kaija Ismael and Ssewakiryanga Muhammad were arrested.
“We are further interrogating them, on the whereabouts of all the children, who went through their hands, since October 2021 todate. The 22 children, who were rescued, were brought from Wakiso, Nansana, Ntinda, Kagoma, Kawempe and Bugerere in Kayunga. They are currently in a shelter home, as arrangements to reintegrate and reunite them, with their parents, guardians and relatives, are taking place”,he said.
Also rescued are 3 children from Bunia, 7 from Kasese, 6 from Karugutu and 50 from Bombo. Notably among them is Ssemakula Shafik aka Fik abua, a 14-year-old, male juvenile who was kidnapped from Kiboga, and smuggled into the DRC. We cannot reveal the identity of the parents for security reasons.
Together with other children, they were trained in weapon handling, detonating and planting bombs among other military maneuvers. He managed to escape and sneak back into the country through Kasese, where a good Samaritan got him onto a lorry up to Lukaya. He walked on foot upto Kyamuliibwa, where a chapati seller upon hearing his ordeal, handed him over to the police.
We want to caution parents against handing over their children, to such anti-democracy actors, who are bent on using their children as actors of violence and impunity, for their selfish gains.
Every Ugandan should get involved in addressing crime and related acts of violence. It is only when we come together, that we can prevent and deter all acts of violent extremism including terrorism.