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Here’s how UPDF plans to deal with Bobi Wine protest plotters, block riots repeat

Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi.

Uganda’s army, the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), has put in place measures to deal with ring leaders of city protests and prevent re-occurrence.

The November 18 and 19 protests sparked off by the arrest of National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, claimed over 30 lives.

On November 20, security minister Gen Elly Tumwine said government had evidence to show that foreign agents funded the protests.

Police also revealed it had compiled a list of over 300 protest ring leaders.

Hours before Iganga Magistrate’s Court released Bobi Wine on bail, deputy army spokesperson Lt Col Deo Akiiki announced security agencies would need up deployment in Kampala, Wakiso, Entebbe and Mukono.

Police, UPDF officers and personnel belonging to the Local Defense Unit (LDU) are expected to continue to patrol these areas until the situation has normalized.

The army has also vowed to decisively respond to “any incident of criminality.”

To prevent rioters from blocking city roads as was the case on November 18, security agencies have also deployed personnel on roads in the towns as well as on major highways to ensure traffic is not disrupted if protests resume.

The joint security taskforce made it clear the heavy deployment was “a preemptive posture to disable and dismantle any criminal minded cell.”

The army has also taken over critical infrastructure and installations such as power stations and fuel reserves to prevent rioters from setting them on fire.

Security agencies are also jointly hunting for the protest ring leaders still on the run and have vowed to crush the ‘criminal groups’ behind the mid-week riots.

According to Lt Akiiki, agencies have needed up their surveillance to break the backs of ‘criminal groups’ as a way of averting more destructive protests.

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