Days before the Komamboga bomb blast that happened on October 23 night, France and the United Kingdom (UK) had warned Uganda that terrorists could make an attack.
In their warning, the UK said terrorists were “very likely to try to carry out attacks in Uganda.”
The UK warned its citizens and all foreigners to be careful.
“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. You should be vigilant at all times, especially in crowded areas and public places like hotels, transport hubs, restaurants and bars, and during major gatherings like sporting or religious events,” read the statement in part.
“Previous terrorist attacks and disrupted attacks in Uganda have targeted the security forces and places where football matches were being viewed.”
Terrorists belonging to the al-Shabaab outfit killed at least 70 people, most of them watching a football match at Kyadondo Rugby Club and the Ethiopia Village Restaurant in Kabalagala, Kampala, on July 11, 2010.
Days later, the joint security taskforce, through Uganda Police Force (UPF) spokesperson Fred Enanga, said they “do appreciate and take cognizance of the advisories to their respective citizens” but “our Joint Counter Terror teams have subjected the respective alerts to a process of validation for specifics, to help determine whether these threats are imminent or not.”
Enanga added that security would keep normal deployments and urged Ugandans to remain calm and be vigilant.
“These specifics are still not readily available. In this very respect, they continue to review our security posture across the country which continues to be maintained as normal,” said Enanga in the same statement issued on October 18.
“The public should rest assured that our threat levels and counter terror responses, are constantly under review. They should therefore, remain calm but vigilant. We wish to add that, in case they come across any suspicious behaviour or anything of public concern, they should alert the nearest security agency.”
The police spokesperson emphasized there was no need for alarm.
“Once again, if we feel it necessary to heighten our threat level, during this period, we shall definitely do so. Our task teams do take the security and safety of all Ugandans and visitors in the country, as top priority,” he noted.
“We have previously thwarted several plots, both foreign and domestic, since the double attack of 2010 in Kampala and will continue to jealously guard our country, from all forms of threats.”