OPINION: Terrorism should unite us than divide us


By Arthur Tumwesigye

The recent terrorist attacks on Ugandan soil have sent shock in the spines of many because of the non-discriminatory approach of these unpitying assailants whose motive until now is still mysterious.

The innocents Ugandans who succumbed to the acts of these vicious suicide bombers had left their homes expecting to return with some coins in their pockets to keep food on the table of their families. Unfortunately, now, the bereaving families do not only miss loved ones on dinner tables but they also lack food on the same tables because most of them were the breadwinners.

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and its affiliate terror groups have claimed responsibility for the bomb blasts in Kampala making them our common enemy who needs our collective effort to defeat and wipe out from the country we dearly cherish.

However, some critics in and outside Uganda have tried to spin these attacks and attach them to politics and the state of the economy, which is, in my view, a very absurd analysis because all the attacks were non-partisan.

Pointing a finger at the security agencies for dropping their ball in their routine counter-terrorism operations is just clutching at straws because these assailants have no bases in Uganda and therefore can’t wedge and win a fight against our forces on a battle frontline.

Again, politicising terror with unjustifiable evidence just because one enjoys immunity on the floor of the national assembly is not only humiliating the title of Honorable but also mortifying the deceased persons and their families because they didn’t go on the w.rong side of the grass as a result of their political affiliation.

By the same token, to allege that the youth are joining extremist groups as a result of high levels of unemployment in Uganda is a wrong diagnosis of the current situation because if that was the case, countries like South Africa, Namibia, and Nigeria whose unemployment rate has reached 34.4%, 33.4%, and 33.3% respectively would by now be run by these extremist elements or terrorised on daily basis because unemployment is much more pronounced than in Uganda (Source: Bloomberg).

Much as Uganda is among the many countries in the world struggling with the issue of increased unemployment, it’s illogical for anyone in their right-thinking mind to attribute terrorism and extremism to a widely-shared problem such as unemployment because same terror activities have and continue to happen

with profound prominence in highly developed countries. The recent cases in the UK are the Liverpool Women’s Hospital explosion and the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, who was stabbed multiple times during a meeting with his constituents in Essex on 15 October among others.

After the attacks, the media has been a wash of criticism drawn from the security agencies’ counter-terrorism strategy and approach, many criticising security organs for gunning down some of the suspects. This is yet another divisive rhetoric by detractors intended to derail the security operations, these terrorists are trained to kill people who are not their adversaries, imagine what they are capable of unleashing to security personnel who is pursuing to arrest and detain them for further interrogation. This is however not to encourage the killing of suspects in instances of surrender because once apprehended, information from these suspects is crucial in breaking the cells and chain of operations of these terrorists.

Bizarre and unnerving allegations were levied against the Muslim fraternity in Uganda connecting them to these terror activities which is yet another conflict-ridden approach intended to divide and dehumanize the Muslim faith. The radical and extremist groups causing mayhem in the region do not reflect the true values and teachings of the Muslim religion but portray multidimensional indoctrination and extreme radicalization of young people using divisive tools to believe in mysterious comfort by the lords of terror.

Therefore, these terror activities should unite all the countrymen and women more than ever before and that way, vigilance, and cooperation between the population and security will aid the defeat of these terrorists on the Ugandan soil.

The writer is a student of media and National Security.


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