Security Arrests Minors in ADF Ranks
Ten suspects, including two minors aged 12 and 14, have been arrested during the ongoing crackdown on suspected Allied Democratic Forces –ADF terror cells across the country.
The operations conducted by Crime Intelligence teams, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence –CMI and the Police Flying Squad targeted gangs that have been attacking security installations, killing police officers, soldiers and private security guards.
The agencies conducted separate raids since December 24, 2022, and established that minors were recruited from parts of Busoga, Wakiso, Luweero and Kasese districts. One of the minors told the police that he was recruited from Mayuge by one Hussein Musana and linked up with another juvenile from Kasese district.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said one of the children was found carrying Improvised Explosive Devices –IEDs while attempting to cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo- DRC.
Najib Kasule, a human rights lawyer and member of public interest lawyers, said much as Ugandan law provides for criminal responsibility from age 12, security agencies should ensure that minors are isolated from adults so that they are able to reform.
“Sometimes police make mistakes and mix such children with adults. They should be separated from adults and even if they are charged, I hope they will be put in remand homes. By their age, they are criminally responsible,” Kasule said.
Besides these, the agencies also picked six suspects in Busoga sub-region all linked to ADF. On Christmas Eve, security agencies raided Nyendo- Mukungwe division in Masaka City and arrested Ali Katende alias Mao, a suspect who was linked to Busiika and Kyabadaza Police Stations attack.
Meanwhile, Security cautioned Ugandans against relating with strangers who pose as scrap collectors or sometimes disguise themselves as mad persons. This warning is based on last night’s incident where a regular scrap and plastic bottle collector attacked a private security guard at Zainab Emporium.
Clovis Makanika Bwambale, a SWATT security guard deployed at Zainab Emporium told police officers that he was attacked by a male person with the intent of taking his gun. Enanga identified the attacker as Kevin Muwanga who is usually seen collecting plastic bottles.
“We arrested the suspect who was posturing himself as a collector of plastic bottles. But at around 1 am, he tried to pounce on one of the security guards at Zainab Emporium. He tried to disarm him of his SAR [Semi-Automated Rifle]. The suspect is always seen collecting plastic bottles,” Enanga said.
Security has likened Muwanga’s incident to that of Luweero where on December 7, a man who people thought had a mental illness was shot in broad daylight by a private security guard deployed at Advance Micro Smart Microfinance Office. This incident happened at 12:00pm at Wobulenzi Town Council and the killed guard was identified as Leon Odong from SGA Security Group.