'It is true some of our soldiers have been cited in the crimes, but our system in the army is different. We handle them harshly and discipline them accordingly'
KIDNAPS AND MURDER
KAMPALA- The security minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine, has assured the country that they would deal sternly with soldiers of the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) said to be involved in the kidnap and murder of victims cases, which have become rampant in the country.
"It is true some of our soldiers have been cited in the crimes, but our system in the army is different. We handle them harshly and discipline them accordingly," he said.
The minister was addressing journalists at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, where he was asked to comment on the increasing cases of kidnap for ransom and in many instances, the assailants subject victims to torture, rape and eventually kill them.
He said some of the kidnap cases in the country were connected to ADF and ISIS.
"Kidnaps are of recent becoming a serious issue in Uganda, but it has been going on in many countries and Uganda is not anywhere among the top 20 countries in the World where kidnaps are rampant," he said
Gen. Tumwine, however, assured the country that the Government had made strategies to deal with the criminals by learning and sharing information with countries where it had been common on how they have managed in fighting the vice.
He explained that progress was being registered in apprehending kidnap culprits, but discovered that some have been connected to money while others to terrorist groups.
Earlier on, the minister presided over the official opening of the 5th meeting of the heads of intelligence and security services (HISS) in the East Africa region and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The meeting coincided with the launch of the East African Fusion and Liaison Unit at Entebbe, which has become an intelligence gathering centre. Each member state would have an office at the centre for co-ordination purposes.
The fusion centre will be manned by intelligence officers from respective countries and will focus on terrorism and violent extremism, drug trafficking, money laundering and financing of terrorism, sequestration and abductions, kidnapping for ransom, Inter-religious conflicts, trafficking of all types of weapons, trafficking humans and organs, assassinations, cybercrime, piracy and common transnational threats identified by member countries.
The fusion centre was opened by Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia. He asked the member states to work together to be able to deal with the emerging security threats in the region, especially terrorism.
Francisco Madeira cuts a tape to commission the East African Fusion and Liaison Unit at Entebbe. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)