National
Uganda creates tourism police amid terror threat
Publish Date: Mar 22, 2014
Uganda creates tourism police amid terror threat
Police spokesman Patrick Onyango: "The tourism police is almost a stand alone force."
  • mail
  • img
newvision

KAMPALA - Uganda has set up a specialist tourism police force as part of counter-terrorism measures, amid warnings of attacks by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab, police said Friday.

"The tourism police is important because it counters threats of terrorists who might want to target tourists when they are in the country," police spokesman Patrick Onyango told AFP, as the first officers entered into service.

Tourism is the east African nation's second largest foreign exchange earner, estimated to be worth $662 million a year (480 million euros), according to official statistics.

Uganda this week issued renewed warnings that Shebab extremists were plotting to use fuel tankers as bombs "to cause extensive damage to people and property".

Shebab bombers killed at least 76 people in restaurants in the capital Kampala in 2010, in retaliation after Uganda contributed troops to the African Union force fighting the Islamists in Somalia.

"The tourism police is almost a stand alone force, but under the remit of counter-terrorism" unit, Onyango added.

"The force has been deployed in areas visited by tourists like the national parks, tourism sites and major hotels."

An attack in 1999 by Rwandan Hutu rebels on Uganda's Bwindi forest, where tourists flock to track endangered gorillas, hit the country's tourism sector hard. Eight foreign tourists and four Ugandans were killed in that attack.

Over 300 new officers for the force will graduate later Friday, although Onyango said he could not give the total size of the team for security reasons.

Uganda's Minister for Tourism Maria Mutagamba said the force was to "guarantee safety for tourists" by boosting security as part of "expanded anti-terror surveillance in Uganda."

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Maria Kiwanuka advises on gender equity financing
Special Presidential advisor on finance Maria Kiwanuka has expressed concern that women in the country are nowhere near to attaining gender equity and economic development since the declaration of the Beijing conference in 1995 due to limited financing...
Govt revenue increases with land computerisation
Computerisation is the solution to bottle necks in land management, the Minister of lands, housing and urban development, Daudi Migereko, has said...
Tourism gets single voice
To safeguard the fragile tourism industry, there is need for a coordinated response to health and terrorism threats that have led to cancellation of bookings in the recent past...
Zziwa asks church, State to promote girl- child education
The former speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, Margaret Nantongo Zziwa has asked the Church and state in Uganda to work together to protect and promote the girl-child...
Finance to release money for new fiscal year this week
The finance ministry is to ensure that money for the 2015/16 financial is released to the different government spending agencies before the end of this week....
U.S commends Uganda on protection of refugees
The United States Government has given a complimentary account of protection of refugees in Uganda, in its annual human rights report....
With Eddie Kenzo’s win at the BET awards, is Ugandan music being recognized worldwide?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter