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Foreign Interference Not a Threat to Uganda’s Security, Says ESO Director

The Director General of External Security Organization (ESO) Ambassador Joseph Ochwet has said that there is no serious threat that Uganda is facing from external forces except a few “pockets of enemies” that can easily be dealt with firmly by the country’s security agencies.

Ambassador Ochwet revealed this on Friday during a joint national security briefing held in Kampala at the police headquarters in Naguru.

The External Security Organization is a government agency mandated to collect, analyse and process information related to external security threats with the objective of informing the national policy makers in Uganda and falls under the Ministry of Security.

“It is true the President has always talked about the existence of foreign forces who are trying to interfere with the stability of Uganda. The president does this to alert such groups to know that we are aware of their plans and also the activities that they are doing which are negative,” he said.

President Yoweri Museveni has on several occasions this year warned against foreign interference in Uganda’s politics. He accuses some foreign countries of seeking influence in the nation’s politics by providing assistance to the opposition through non-government organizations and others.

According Ochwet, such ill attempts on Uganda are likely to hit a dead end because of its foreign policies, individual friends, many friendly countries and many international organizations which are very friendly to Uganda.

Among Uganda’s friendly countries, he said, is the United States, United Kingdom and many others in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, and Russia among
others.

“But again, there are a few pockets of enemies who are targeting, for various reasons, to destabilize the country. We know them and they are not a serious threat to security but at the same time, we cannot just watch them and do nothing. So when the President is talking, he is just alerting them that we are aware and following their negative activities. But in terms of threat, the level is minimal,” said director Ochwet.

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He added that although,at the moment, few countries are trying to destabilize Uganda, the threats mainly come from groups of individuals who sometimes raise money, hold meetings, and make publications against Uganda “but they are not serious cases and they can be dealt with as they come.”

He stressed that intelligence is about detecting a problem and preventing it. So when the President comments about the issue, he is trying to prevent the saboteurs from going ahead with ill motives against Uganda.

“If they don’t really stop, we have other ways of dealing with them, we have intelligence led operations, we also have our political leaders who can manage some of those small threats.”

ESO reports indicate that foreign elements who try to destabilize Uganda always identify agents within Uganda and these agents are usually politicians and media personalities.

However, the reports further indicate, there are active methods of dealing with this foreign interference which include arresting collaborators and taking them through the due process of law.

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