Uganda stand up against terrorism as President Museveni says no entry into hotels, worship areas without IDs
Uganda is facing a serious threat of terrorism from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group that operates in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has links to the Islamic State.
The ADF has been blamed for several attacks in Uganda, including a recent bomb scare at a church in Kampala.
Museveni’s directives to prevent terror attacks
President Yoweri Museveni has issued a series of directives to prevent and counter the terror attacks by the ADF and other groups. In a national address on September 7, 2023, he ordered that all visitors to recreational places and worship centres across the country must present their national identity cards before accessing the facilities. He said this would help to identify and isolate any suspicious strangers who may be planning to carry out attacks.
He also instructed the police to train hotel and lodge managers on how to document and verify the identity of their guests. He said that hotels and lodges must not allow anyone to book without showing their ID cards and ensuring that their faces match the cards. He added that landlords and estate owners must also check the ID cards of their tenants and report any anomalies to the police.
He further urged the public to be alert and report any unfamiliar people in their areas to the police. He said that terrorists often take advantage of gatherings such as churches, bars, markets, and buses, and if not noticed and challenged, they can easily cause havoc. He said that buses and other public means of transport should screen all travellers and search their luggage for any explosives or weapons.
The rationale behind the directives
The president said that his directives were based on the logic that terrorists must sleep somewhere at night, and if they are denied access to hotels, lodges, estates, or homes, they will have nowhere to hide or plan their attacks. He said that by blocking these places, the terrorists will be exposed and vulnerable to detection and arrest by the security forces.
He also said that his directives were aimed at enhancing the governance and management of labour migration, by ensuring that migrant workers are registered, monitored, and protected by the relevant agencies. He said that Uganda has many migrant workers from neighbouring countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Rwanda, who may be infiltrated by terrorists or criminals. He said that by checking their ID cards, the authorities can verify their identity, nationality, and work permit status.
The implications of the directives
The president’s directives have implications for both the security and the human rights of Ugandans and migrant workers. On one hand, they may help to prevent and deter terror attacks by making it harder for terrorists to operate in Uganda.
They may also help to improve the security situation in Uganda, which has been affected by violence, instability, and conflict in the region. They may also boost Uganda’s image as a responsible and caring nation that values peace and security.
(Read Also: Uganda police prevent bomb plot at Kampala church)
On the other hand, they may pose challenges and risks for the privacy, freedom, and dignity of Ugandans and migrant workers. They may create inconvenience and harassment for innocent people who may be asked to show their ID cards frequently or subjected to searches or interrogations.
They may also violate the rights of Ugandans and migrant workers to freedom of movement, association, expression, and religion. They may also create discrimination and stigma against migrant workers who may be seen as potential terrorists or criminals.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.