Mpondwe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There is significant deployment of the Uganda Police Force (UPF), Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), and other sister security agencies, along the Uganda-DRC border in the Bunyoro sub-region. This follows an attack on Lhubirira Secondary School in Kasese by suspected Allied Democratic Force (ADF) rebels on Friday last week.
The attackers targeted the school located in Mpondwe town, which is approximately 2 kilometers from the Uganda-DRC border. The attack resulted in the death of 42 individuals, including 42 people including 37 students. Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Regional Police spokesperson, explains that the heavy deployment aims to provide necessary security to the people in the Albertine region, safeguarding them from potential attacks by suspected ADF rebels.
Given the porous nature of the Bunyoro-DR Congo border, particularly through Lake Albert waters, there is a concern that the rebels could exploit any security gaps and enter the country to cause harm. Hakiza urges residents residing along the shores of Lake Albert to remain vigilant and report any suspicious individuals or objects to nearby security personnel.
Local Council I (LCI) Chairpersons along the lake’s shores have been instructed to thoroughly screen and register all visitors entering their areas from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He also says that efforts are underway to enhance cooperation and intensify security in the Kyangwali refugee settlement area in Kikuube, saying they are aware that ADF rebels might attempt to disguise themselves as refugees to carry out acts of violence in the country.
Vincent Alpha Opio, the Kikuube LC V Vice Chairperson, emphasizes the need for both locals and security agencies to address the ongoing threat posed by the ADF. He highlights the potential for the rebels to exploit security loopholes, including crossing Lake Albert, to cause mayhem in the country.
Residents, such as Patricia Apio from Nkondo landing site in Kikuube, express their concerns and urge security forces to conduct routine patrols along the Uganda-DRC border. They are living in fear following the ADF attack in Kasese and believe that preventive measures are necessary to prevent infiltration by hostile elements.