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Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Uganda

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 18 August 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Uganda, 18 August 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e52480ec.html [accessed 29 December 2014]
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: The Somali-based al-Shabaab posed the most significant terrorist threat to Uganda. Al-Qa'ida (AQ)-linked terrorists moving between the Horn of Africa, North Africa, and Europe used Uganda as a transit point. While in transit, AQ members were believed to have illegally procured government documents and engaged in recruitment activities. In response to the July 11 bombings and continued threat levels, the Government of Uganda increased efforts to track, capture, and hold individuals with suspected links to terrorist organizations. Uganda's Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce, which is composed of military, police, and intelligence entities, led Uganda's counterterrorism response.

In addition to investigating and charging terrorist bombing suspects, Uganda continued to pursue the Lord's Resistance Army in coordination with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic.

2010 Terrorist Incidents: On July 11, two al-Shabaab suicide bombers attacked an Ethiopian restaurant and a Rugby Club in Kampala where Ugandans and others gathered to watch the World Cup finals, killing 76 people and wounding many more. Accomplices to the suicide bombers detonated a separate explosive device, in addition to the bomb detonated by the suicide bomber, at the Rugby Club. A fourth bomb placed at a nightclub failed to explode.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: Following the Kampala bombings, U.S. law enforcement worked closely with Uganda to gather evidence and investigate the terrorist attacks. This collaboration improved the coordination and levels of information sharing between Uganda's own security services and strengthened police capacity to investigate terrorist incidents. An archaic criminal records system that relies on fingerprint cards to connect individuals with past crimes continued to hinder Ugandan police. Uganda continued to need a modern criminal records management system to conduct effective counterterrorism cooperation.

Uganda continued to process travelers on entry and departure at two international airports and four land borders with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Uganda's comprehensive draft anti-money laundering legislation has long been pending before Parliament. As a result, current efforts to combat money laundering are piecemeal and based on older legislation. The Anti-Terrorist Act made terrorist financing illegal, and there was no evidence that the Ugandan government used it to prosecute effectively financiers of terrorism. In addition, the list of terrorist organizations covered by the bill was static, and only included four terrorist organizations (al-Qa'ida and three domestic organizations). There was no suspicious transaction-reporting requirement for terrorist financing. The Inspectorate General of Government has the power to investigate cases brought to it by the public, but in practice has not investigated money laundering and terrorist financing cases. The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Uganda Police Force was responsible for investigating financial crimes. However, until Parliament approves the anti-money laundering legislation, the understaffed and undertrained CID maintains only limited authority to investigate and prosecute money-laundering violations. According to Ugandan government officials, criminals often had access to technology that was more sophisticated than what was available to police investigators. Internal corruption within the CID also hampered police investigative capacity.

Regional and International Cooperation: Uganda signed the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft at the conclusion of an International Civil Aviation Organization diplomatic conference in September. The Ugandan government is a strong advocate for cross-border solutions to persistent security concerns in the Great Lakes Region and East Africa. Burundi and Uganda were the only two troop contributing nations participating in AU Mission in Somalia.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Because regions lacking rule of law are often incubators of extremism, Ugandan law enforcement is working with the United States to improve levels of collaboration and trust between the police force and the public in northern Uganda.

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