IGP Ochola Urges Muslims to be Vigilant against Terrorism during Eid-Al Adha

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The Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth-Ochola has asked Muslims to be vigilant from any forms of terrorism as they mark their Eid-Al Adha tomorrow. Ochola extended greetings and best wishes to all Muslims and well-wishers in Uganda and across the globe on Eid-al-Adha. The IGP’s message reads;

As always Eid-Al Adha is a celebration of sacrifice for the common good, forgiveness, kindness, compassion and solidarity, which all Ugandans richly deserve.

Although there are no specific threats against Muslims, other citizens and visitors during this period, we do encourage each and every one to remain vigilant. The following safety tips are important as we celebrate Eid;

  • All territorial commanders are encouraged to work with all Muslim leaders in their respective jurisdictions to address and respond to all concerns of crime and safety, threats and vulnerabilities against Muslims, including patrolling all mosques and worship.
  • We encourage all Muslim institutions like Mosques, Islamic centres and schools to form security committees that will work with the police and sister security agencies in addressing all security concerns.
  • Stay informed and monitor the media for the latest security updates.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious persons or objects to the nearest security personnel or Police. Take extra caution while going for early morning prayers and from late evening prayers.
  • For Juma prayers, all Mosques and Islamic centres must have extra security ready at the doors, checking who is entering and going out.
  • Ensure the parking areas are closely guarded and watch out for any suspicious vehicles.
  • Avoid travelling alone especially in isolated areas at night and in darkness. Tell a friend or neighbour when you are going and when you intend to return.
  • Travel in groups. Safety is in numbers.
  • Vary your routes and times of travel. Being less predictable makes you more difficult to target.
  • During your movements, find exits and have a plan to escape or safe havens along your route or trip e.g. shops, restaurants, fuel stations and security stations.
  • Always carry a charged cell phone. Also ensure your emergency numbers and family contracts are programmed.
  • Turn off location services on your smart cell phone or other devices. Criminals can use those features to establish your location.
  • Do not advertise, post or broadcast the location where you are going. Only tell people after you have left that place.
  • Record all incidents of harassment, threatening phone calls or messages and report to the police. Use your telephones trace features to try to get the telephone number of the caller.

We also urge all proprietors of social and entertainment places, to ensure the safety and security protocols at their venues are enhanced. They must provide security at the interior and exterior perimeters have thorough screening and search processes, standard access controls etc. Other challenges associated with crowds at major events like keeping the venue safe against unruly guests, drunkards, congestion and breakout fights, must be carefully planned for.

In the recent inspection audits of private businesses, like arcades, markets, shopping malls, taxi and bus parks, bars, restaurants, schools etc, we have noticed low levels of vigilance. We therefore, urge all proprietors and business persons to develop safety and security plans that can help counter all forms of threats. The presence of security guards alone is not sufficient. Members of the public are also urged to be extra cautious, while shopping, travelling, at places of worship, partying and celebrating.

As the Joint Security Agencies, we have intensified visibility, with visible and non-visibility, with visible tactical response teams, foot and motorized patrols across all regions. This is aimed at detecting, preventing and disrupting all forms of threats and acts of violence against Ugandans and visitors in the country.

As we conclude, we once again wish all Muslims and Ugandans a Happy Eid-Al-Adha.


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