Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Museveni has said that security personnel are not deliberately targeting Muslims in his government’s ongoing war on terror in the country.
Addressing the country on Thursday at State House Nakasero on Covid-19 and the security situation, Museveni said all those arrested or killed in the recent past were legitimate targets for having been involved in activities that are aimed at destabilizing the country. Museveni said that the policy of the National Resistance Movement-NRM party is not to target anybody based on their political, social or religious beliefs.
“Many of the Muslims in Ntungamo and Ankole were part of the wealth creators and not part of the parasites. Don’t involve yourselves in this nonsense of saying the government is targeting Muslims, leave the wealth creators alone. Among the wealth creators, the relationship is symbiotic, there is no parasitism,” he said.
Museveni’s response follows critics on social media who said that the security forces were now back to their properly choreographed script of arresting Muslims whenever there has been a terror incident in the country.
Less than a week ago, two bombs went off, one at Komamboga in Kampala and another in a Swift bus travelling to Bushenyi district. Since then, security forces have arrested several people about the two incidents. However, so far most of those arrested at least have Muslim names.
In previous incidents where prominent people such as AIGP Andrew Kaweesi, former MP Ibrahim Abiriga, Sheikh Hassan Kirya, Joan Kagezi among others were shot dead, the majority of those arrested also had Muslim names. Museveni said he is aware that several young people have been lured into illegal activities by those he called parasites in the opposition with monetary support from foreign agents like homosexuals from the United States of America.
Museveni added that recent even the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF had been attracting several especially Muslim youths to join them and cause instability.
“One of the boys we are hunting for, for the attempted murder of General Katumba is known as Ubayida bin Bukenya. Imagine Bukenya of Engabi clan has now become an Arab. He had been training in the centre of Turabi in Sudan; that group destroyed Sudan. They emphasized identity. So such people are dangerous. How can Bukenya of Engabi clan be an Arab? The sheikhs need to address this,” Museveni said.
He added that the attack on a pork joint at Komamboga was also religiously driven because the attackers hated those who eat pork. “I once told Bashir [the former President of Sudan] that as a Munyankore, my haram list [things not allowed to be eaten] was bigger… You do different things and respect one another and corroborate where you have a common interest. This is our land and we shall protect it from all harmful practices,” Museveni said.
He called upon the public to continue being vigilant and report to the police anything suspicious they see in their communities. He said this way, the country will manage to overcome security challenges posed by those who want to interrupt the country’s peace he has worked so hard for in the last 36 years.