Uganda is under attack. Two bombs in separate incidents and days have gone off leaving two people dead and four others injured, according to police figures.
One of the dead is a suicide bomber who detonated a bomb on a bus. Police on Tuesday said the Saturday night bomb at a bar and restaurant in the capital Kampala and the Monday explosion on a bus are similar. The Improvised Explosive Devices could have been prepared in one place or by the same group of attackers, according to police.
President Yoweri Museveni and security agencies have moved in quickly to reassure the public that the renewed terrorism threat will be handled swiftly.
The attacks are blamed on sleeper cells of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group holed up in the jungles of the neighboring eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Police on Tuesday morning spent several hours at the bus terminals in the capital Kampala, urging people to be vigilant and report any suspicious characters. Bus operators were also instructed to resume security checks of all passengers boarding.
Social media and mainstream media channels are awash with messages urging the public to be vigilant.
Museveni tweeted on Tuesday saying security agencies have been trailing ADF sleeper cells in the country, noting that one attack was foiled on Aug. 26 when a suicide bomber was preparing to blow up mourners during the funeral of the late Deputy Inspector General of Police, Paul Lokech.
The president said the suicide bomber in the Monday explosion on a bus was part of the group that attempted to attack mourners in August.
Some members of the cell were responsible for the attack on Minister of Works Katumba Wamala’s vehicle on June 1. The minister survived with bullet wounds while his daughter and driver were killed by gunmen riding on motorcycles.
Museveni argued that some members of that sleeper cell were killed, others arrested or on the run.
He said as the terrorists continue to plot their attacks, they are leaving behind a trail of clues.
“The hunt continues, the clues are clear and plenty,” the president said as he reassured the nation that the culprits will be arrested.
Police in a report issued here on Tuesday said security agencies have gathered critical intelligence, which is being used to defeat the perpetrators.
“We strongly believe the attackers are part of the sleeper cells in the country, inspired by ADF in close collaboration with the Islamic State. From our analysis they are attacking soft targets, which are many and quite difficult to defend,” the report said.
“We have further established that they have been recruiting, radicalizing and researching on how to build improvised explosive device, and how to carry out attacks in Uganda,” it added.
Police said the group is being coordinated by their commanders who are in eastern DRC, adding security agencies have embarked on tracking down several operators involved in money laundering and terrorist financing.
“So far two have been arrested and these include Abdulaham Waibi and Sanyu Nakitende, who have so far received 114,000 U.S. dollars and distributed it to their recipients on behalf of the ADF.”
“We want to assure Ugandans that despite these cowardly acts of terrorism from existing sleeper cells inspired by the ADF, we remain committed with an unwavering resolve to protect Ugandans and visitors in the country,” the report said.
“We are using strategies under the national security contingency and response plan, and our decade of experience and capabilities, to counter all perpetrators of terror in our country,” it added