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Babalanda warns of new threats, call for increased security along Uganda-DRC border

Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Presidency Minister, Milly Babirye Babalanda, has directed Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) to ensure heavy deployment of Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) and other sister security agencies along the Uganda-DRC border in the Bunyoro and Rwenzori regions.

Speaking through Lt. Col. Emmy Katabazi, the Deputy Director General of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), during a capacity-building engagement for RDCs, Resident City Commissioners (RCCs), District Internal Security Officers (DISOs), and their deputies, Minister Babalanda emphasized the need to strengthen security along the Uganda-DRC border.

She highlighted the ongoing threat posed by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and the potential for them to exploit any security loopholes, including crossing Lake Albert, to cause mayhem in the country. Minister Babalanda stressed that the screening exercise of individuals entering the country through Lake Albert should not be solely the responsibility of the immigration department.

She called for the active participation of UPDF soldiers alongside immigration officers to ensure comprehensive screening.  The minister emphasized that the country is on high alert, and it is crucial to avoid creating any security loopholes that could be exploited by malicious elements.

Additionally, Minister Babalanda cautioned RDCs and their deputies against engaging in infighting while carrying out their duties. She expressed concern over reports of conflicts between RDCs and other district leaders, which have created strained working relationships. She urged RDCs and RCCs to maintain professionalism and collaborate effectively with other leaders in their respective jurisdictions.

The minister called on members of the public to report any RDCs or RCCs engaged in corrupt practices to her office or the secretariat. She emphasized that appropriate disciplinary action, including dismissal, would be taken against those found involved in corruption. Furthermore, Minister Babalanda directed RDCs and RCCs to closely monitor the implementation and progress of the Parish Development Model (PDM).

She urged them to be aware of the amount of money disbursed to their respective districts and the number of groups that have benefited from the initiative. In cases where PDM funds are delayed, RDCs and RCCs were tasked with investigating the reasons behind the delay and ensuring the timely registration of eligible groups to benefit from the program.

The minister also challenged RDCs and RCCs to actively enforce presidential directives on wetland protection. She expressed concern over the increasing encroachment on wetlands and requested immediate action to address the issue. RDCs and RCCs were instructed to compile a list of individuals who have acquired titles in wetland areas within their districts for appropriate measures to be taken.

Martha Asiimwe, the head of RDCs at the secretariat, highlighted the significance of the capacity-building engagement. She emphasized that it would equip RDCs, DISOs, and their deputies with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively carry out their mandates and focus on the successful implementation of critical government programs.



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