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Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Uganda

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 May 2013
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Uganda, 30 May 2013, available at: [accessed 22 October 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Uganda remained a strong force for regional stability, coordination, and counterterrorism efforts in 2012. The Ugandan government cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism efforts, was a strong advocate of cross-border solutions to security issues, and showed increased political will to secure its borders and apprehend suspected terrorists. Resource limitations, porous borders, and corruption presented challenges, however. Uganda has been the backbone of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and has played an active role in countering Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) efforts.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: With U.S. assistance, Uganda continued to expand its border control system to additional points of entry and upgraded it to capture biometric information. Although Uganda significantly improved its ability to investigate terrorist acts, additional training and resources are needed. A Constitutional Court challenge over jurisdiction, extradition, and treatment of the 12 individuals arrested for orchestrating the July 2010 bombings in Kampala indefinitely delayed the trial because the Court lacked a quorum.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Uganda is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, and does not have a financial intelligence unit. Uganda's financial sector remained vulnerable to money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial transactions; Uganda has not criminalized money laundering. Legal and law enforcement measures to combat terrorist financing, based on the Anti-Terrorist Act of 2002 and the Financial Institutions Act of 2004, are inadequate and do not meet international standards. Uganda lacked the capacity needed to effectively monitor and regulate alternative remittance services and wire transfer data.

The Anti-Terrorist Act inadequately criminalizes terrorist financing. Ugandan authorities have not used this Act to investigate any terrorist financing cases, and Uganda did not prosecute any terrorist financing cases in 2012. The Anti-Terrorist Act lists al-Qa'ida; the LRA; the Allied Democratic Forces, a violent extremist group based in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); and one defunct Ugandan rebel group as terrorist organizations. The Act has no suspicious transaction reporting requirement, and can take up to 21 days to update.

The Bank of Uganda asks local banks to report suspicious transactions, but there is no clear implementation mechanism for enforcing this or investigating potentially suspicious activity. Uganda routinely distributed the UN lists of designated terrorists or terrorist entities to financial institutions through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, and the Bank of Uganda. Uganda has the ability to monitor NGOs, but primarily uses this capability to monitor the activities of NGOs critical of the Ugandan government.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

Regional and International Cooperation: Uganda is an active member of the AU, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the Community of Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). Uganda contributed troops to the AU Mission in Somalia and continued to lead regional efforts to end the threat presented by the LRA in coordination with the DRC and South Sudan under the African Union Regional Task Force framework. As Chair of the ICGLR, Uganda led efforts to mediate discussions between M23 rebels and the DRC government.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: After the July 2010 terrorist attacks, Ugandan police increased outreach to local youth considered at risk for radicalization and recruitment into violent extremist organizations. Uganda has offered amnesty to former LRA combatants and members of the ADF since 2000, but announced in May that future amnesty requests would only be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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