Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 80 children have been rescued by the counter terror security teams through raiding suspected terror recruitment centers since last week, according to Police.
The joint Anti-Terrorism Task force and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence raided some of the suspected recruitment home centers in Kalule-in Luwero and in Ntoroko districts, where 50 children were rescued and at least five suspects arrested on Wednesday and Thursday. .
Over the weekend, another raid was conducted at Kasengeje-Wakiso district after receiving information that the head of the recruiting center only identified as Sheikh Rwangabo was busy bringing in children from different places within Kampala and Wakiso district.
Addressing ournalists at Police Headquarters Naguru Fred Enanga the police spokesperson, said that the prime suspect Sheikh Rwangabo is on the run, but the teams arrested two of his counterparts, Ibrahim Kaija, Muhammad Ssewakiryanga, and 22 children who were found being trained and radicalized into ADF activities were rescued.
Police say that Sheikh Rwangabo has agents in Nansana, Ntinda, Kagoma, Bugerere Kayunga and Kawempe Division that hoodwink parents with different promises and end up taking children.
The children who were rescued are now all in a shelter home and the process to reunite them with their families is ongoing
“But also parents, how can you hand over your child without finding out about his or her welfare?” Enanga wondered. “Now this recreating center in Wakiso has been there since last year. Some parents are sponsoring the ADF recruitment!”
Police also rescued another group of 15 children who escaped from the hands of ADF rebels in Bunia in the Democratic Republic of Congo via Kalugutu- Kasese border point. Among these is a 14Year-old Shafiq Ssemakula alias Abuwa who was kidnapped from Kiboga district and smuggled into DRC with 13 other children.
The juveniles narrated to the police that they were being trained in weapon handling; detonation of improvised devices and planting them. Police are now cautioning parents to be extra vigilant with their children.
Meanwhile Police in Kabalagala are holding two suspects who were found with a suspended detonation device that was hidden in a vehicle.
Police said the device was discovered by security teams after carrying out a search in a vehicle registration no Toyata UBF158C at Munyonyo Speke resort driven by Abdullah Kalim Mayo.
Enanga said Abdullah Kalim Mayo, who was hired by Assan Muhammed Ayan, to pick his relatives at the hotel, and three other close friends of the family, Asil Yasin, Masimal Charlie all Somali nationals were all arrested.
According to police records, over 106 suspects have so far been arrested for allegedly facilitating, financing, recruiting and mobilizing for Allied Democratic Forces-ADF.