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Security heightened along Uganda-DRC border ahead of New Year festivities

UPDF and police have been deployed along the Uganda-DRC border in the Albertine.

Hoima, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There is heightened security surveillance on the shores of Lake Albert in the Bunyoro sub region, which shares a porous border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The heavy deployment of police, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF and personnel from sister security agencies is visible mostly at landing sites bordering DRC in the Albertine region. Areas with heavy deployment include Sebigoro, Kaiso, Ndaiga, Butiaba, Bugoma, Kitebere, and Wanseko landing sites in Hoima, Kagadi, Kikuube and Buliisa districts respectively.

Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson says the deployment follows terror alerts which were followed by bombings in Kampala linked to the Allied Democratic Force-ADF rebels that are currently being pursued by the Uganda Peoples Defence forces-UPDF in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to Hakiza, since the ADF militants are being pursued in DRC and given the porous border points in the Albertine, some of them could disguise and cross over to Uganda to cause havoc as Ugandans usher in the new year.

Yosam Tumwebaze, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner-RDC says all the security agencies are on alert and have been deployed along the Uganda-DRC border to detect any suspicious persons and objects, especially from DR Congo.

He has cautioned Ugandans, especially those settling on the shores of Lake Albert to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious persons to security personnel for immediate action.

Kikuube Resident District Commissioner-RDC Amlan Tumusiime equally says they have beefed up security in the area to ensure that no wrong element enters the district from the DRC.

Security early this week banned fireworks displays, burning tyres and overnight prayers as Ugandans usher in the New Year on Friday 31, December 2021. These have been unmissable rituals on New Year’s Eve, bringing together thousands of revellers from across the country to celebrate the end of the year and usher in the new year in style.

But in the wake of government restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19, bars, which often were licensed to display fireworks, have officially remained closed, and the country is still under a nighttime curfew that starts at 7:00 pm and runs until 5:30 am.

According to Fred Enanga, the Police spokesperson, with such restrictions in place, every person is expected to be indoors on New Year’s Eve adding that the security agencies will deploy personnel in various places to ensure that no one is walking, driving or operating restricted businesses like bars during curfew time.

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