Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has called for calm days after the East African country’s security defused three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted at different locations in the capital of Kampala.
Museveni, who was addressing the nation late Thursday, said there was no need to panic because the country’s army was at the tail end of defeating the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group blamed for previous bomb attacks in the country.
The ADF, an affiliate of the Islamic State in central Africa, is holed up in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from where it launches attacks within the country and in neighboring Uganda.
On Sunday and Monday, the country’s security defused IEDs, that had been planted at a church, shopping mall, and guest house.
“I don’t want anybody to start panicking and think there is a big insoluble problem,” Museveni said.
To fight acts of terrorism, Museveni advised the public to be vigilant and report strangers to the police.
The president also issued new directives on churchgoers, tenants and guests at hotels.
“No stranger should enter your bar or church, your mosque. They must be challenged, isolated and reported to the police,” Museveni said. “For hotels and lodges, take the particulars of your guests, and have them show you their IDs with their pictures.”
The president ruled out any amnesty for the terrorists but advised them to surrender to lessen their punishment.
“Even if they surrender, especially the hardcore ones who have been doing bad things, we cannot just forgive them. They have to be held accountable,” he said. “Maybe they may not die. But you might be tried, sentenced, you may get a sentence less than death. That will be better than dying.”
He said the DRC government had given Uganda more permission to hunt for the terrorists hiding there.
“We are going for them. The Congolese government has allowed us apart from hunting for the ones in the forests which we have been doing since 2021, we shall go for these ones who are sending these young people to kill other people,” Museveni said.
In June last year, the Ugandan military said they had busted an ADF training center in the central Ugandan district of Luweero.
The ADF was blamed for the bombings in Kampala in 2021 that left six people dead and 33 others injured.
In June this year, Ugandan security blamed an attack on a school that left 41 people dead, mostly students, on the ADF.