President Museveni has said that intelligence lapses are partly to blame for the attack by ADF rebels on Lhubiriha Secondary School in Kasese last month.
“Therefore, the residual problem of ADF is an intelligence problem to locate where the remnants are and what they are planning. Attacks like the one of Nyabugaando, are on account of the relaxation in the area by the security forces because the area had been peaceful for a long time,” Museveni said.
The president was addressing the country on the current security situation.
In last month’s attack on a secondary school in Kasese, the ADF rebels came at night and killed the security guard before descending on the boys’ and girls’ dormitories setting them on fire and cutting of the occupants.
In total, over 40 students had been killed while a small number was captured and forced to carry the posho and beans the rebels had looted from the school store.
In his address, on Thursday evening, the president noted that the ADF was defeated long ago and because of this, they cannot enter the country in large groups as they used to do and that they can no longer attack army or police barracks but rather go out for soft targets like it was during the Kasese attack.
He however said this state of affairs has led to relaxation of security and this led to last month’s attack.
“We already have good capacity in this area, that we have used to degrade the ADF from a military force to a mere band of terrorists only looking for soft targets (unarmed people) to kill. Why not a detachment of the Army? Why not attack a police station? Why not ambush troops on the move if you are a fighter? They no longer have capacity to do that. Why? We degraded them. We need to, therefore, feel some gaps in intelligence collection and that will be the end of ADF both in Congo and Uganda.”
He cited a botched attack by ADF in Ntoroko last year when 51 rebel fighters entered the country but locals noticed them and alerted the UPDF which gave them a bloody nose.
“However, the wanaichi saw them, quickly informed the army, the army responded quickly and 26 were killed, 25 were captured, 37guns plus 7 IEDs were captured.”
Museveni however, noted that there needs to be alertness by security agencies referring to an executive order requiring 18 police officers per sub-county, some with motorcycles to help respond to distress calls.
“I thought of the number of 18, because I wanted 12 to be regular armed police and, then, the other 6 would provide the CID etc. The 12, could be organized into squads of four each. One of these squads to be on standby, ready to move immediately to the area of need. They should be fully dressed, guns in hand, motorcycles fueled, ready to move any moment.”
He said this solves the problem of guarding the police station so that there are no situations where a police station is attacked by surprise because everybody was stand down (not ready).
“Secondly, they are ready to move out to respond without loss of time. Another squad should, immediately, come out to guard the station while the third squad is resting (sleeping). They change every 8 hours.”
“When there is a threat of terrorism or even ordinary crime, all the residents in the sub-county, should have a toll-free sub-county Police telephone number, which people under attack, should ring. It is just a case of alertness, intelligence gathering and co-ordination between the security forces and the public.”
Museveni said that Uganda working with countries in the region, using military, intelligence and diplomatic means will see the ADF is finally wiped out.