Uganda beefs up security at all borders

Thursday June 19 2014

Uganda Police Defence Force military take a

Uganda Police Defence Force military take a patrol near the eastern border with Kenya. Security has been beefed up at all border crossings into the country as the threat of terrorism heightens. File 

By Joseph Omolo, Felix Warom Okello, Martin Okudi & Robert Muhereza

Security has been beefed up at all border crossings into the country as the threat of terrorism heightens, following two fatal attacks on two Kenyan towns two days ago. Al Shabaab Islamic militants have always vowed to harm Uganda, Kenya and Burundi for deploying soldiers to Somalia in Amisom's peacekeeping mission.

In response, Uganda Police Force has regularly asked Ugandans to be vigilant.

An on-spot check yesterday revealed intensified security measures at the entry points in the country, with tighter screening of immigrants and security agencies engaged in both overt and covert manoeuvres.


The officer in-charge of Malaba Central Police station, Mr Julius Jingo, yesterday said measures have been taken to ensure that terrorists do not use Malaba to enter the country. He said checks on travellers’ luggage, travel documents, vehicles and transit cargo have been strengthened to detect terrorists and objects they use to make bombs.

Mr Jingo said both the police and the intelligence teams have been deployed at various entry points to monitor and profile suspects. Surveillance has also been placed on video halls where football World Cup matches are being screened and lodges.

The Malaba Central Police Station commander said they have also scaled up community policing to sensitise communities on identification of suspects and suspicious materials. Mr Jingo appealed to video hall operators and proprietors of bars and lodges to ensure regular security checks.


In West Nile, the authorities and traders at West Nile border points of Elegu and Oraba are also on the alert. The officer in charge of Elegu border post, Mr Stephen Odongkara, said permanent deployment of security personnel has been made at strategic locations to avoid any illegal entry.

“We also liaise with South Sudan immigration officials to check those exiting Uganda,” Mr Odongkara said, adding that trucks and goods are also screened. However, traders plying the Arua-Juba route said they are not satisfied with the level of vigilance and security preparedness at the border.

Adjumani District police commander Andrew Kaggwa, said plain clothed intelligence officers have been deployed at the border and in the various refugee camps.


Police spokesman for Kigezi region Elly Maate said police counter terrorism specialists have been deployed at Katuna, Kamwezi and Chanika towns which border Rwanda, adding that they are also deployed at Bunagana and Ishasha which border the DR Congo.

“We have intensified community mobilisation,” Mr Maate said.

Recent terror attacks in Kenya


June 15: Fifty killed in terror attack on Kenya town of Mpeketoni. Militants attacked hotels, restaurants and government offices.

April 23: A car exploded at the Pangani police station in Nairobi, killing the four occupants: the driver, a passenger, and two police officers who had boarded the vehicle to guide it to the police station. A second vehicle with explosives was subsequently found abandoned just blocks away.

March 31: Two explosions killed six people in Eastleigh. Occurring along 11th street around 7:30pm, one of the blasts took place near a food kiosk; the other near a bus stop.


March 3: Twelve people, including six policemen killed in attacks against security forces on the Kenyan coast ahead of general elections.

April 18: Four armed men walked into the Kwa Chege Hotel in Garissa and shot dead at least six people. Ten others were seriously wounded.

September 21: Gunmen attacked Westgate, an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 170.

December 14: A hand grenade was thrown onto a minibus in Eastleigh. At least four people died and 36 others were wounded. It was the fourth such attack to occur during the 50th anniversary week of Kenya’s independence.


March 10: Nine people die and about 60 were injured in a grenade attack on a Nairobi bus terminal.

June 24: Three died and dozens were injured in an attack on a bar in Mombasa.

July 1: An attack on two churches in Garissa claimed 18 lives and wounded 40 near the refugee camp of Dadaab.

November 18: Nine people killed in a bomb attack on a bus in Eastleigh.

December 7: A grenade attack near a mosque in Eastleigh killed five people.