President Museveni has directed security organs to re-activate military training of members of the public with the view of creating a robustly prepared armed population, Chimp Corps report.
Museveni, in his article to media houses on Saturday, expressed confidence that the radical Somali extremist group Al Shabaab was already defeated but that innocent and unarmed civilians’ lives remained at stake because of their terrorism activities.
It was on that background that Museveni today suggested that “Al-Shabaab can no longer either fight conventional or guerrilla battles against the AU force and they are only relying on terrorist attacks against the soft, innocent targets.”
Museveni, a military tactician, said, “We can harden the soft targets with the concept of the Armed population, maybe, initially, in the threatened areas as defined by intelligence.”
He did not expound on areas threatened by Al Shabaab extremists in Uganda.
However, Police boss Gen Kale Kayihura said the killing of Muslim clerics in Uganda was linked to organised groups such as ADF which maintains ties with Al Shabaab.
In 2010, Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the twin bombings in Kampala that claimed at least 79 lives.
Just recently, Brenda Kyeyune, a Ugandan working with UNICEF died after a car in which she was travelling was bombed by Al Shabaab.
Museveni today recalled that “in 1980s, 1990s, when some actors were threatening to invade us, we had trained a Militia of 2 million men and women.”
He said all S-6 leavers used to get military training. However, with increased Secondary School and University enrollment, the numbers became too big for government to manage.
“We, therefore, suspended that generalized mass training and, instead, concentrated on the areas that had insecurity at that time – Teso, Lango, Karamoja, the Rwenzori Region, etc. In Teso we had a militia (Local Defence Units – LDUs) of 8,000 known as the Arrow boys; in Lango we had another 8,000 and they were called Amuka, etc.”
Museveni said Mchakamchaka involves a cost of feeding, clothing, equipping, transporting, training (the bullets).
“Since we need that money for the roads (as you all can see the impact on that sector), the electricity etc., we had to scale down on the concept of the Armed People – Povo armada as Frelimo used to call the strategy,” argued Museveni.
“However, it is there and it can be re-activated at any time. That is why we have Reserve Force Commanders in all the districts. That is their purpose. I have, actually, already given confidential instructions to the Armed forces (Police, UPDF, ISO, etc.) to re-activate that strategy as guided by intelligence.”
Police are currently carrying out what is known as Crime Prevention Training especially at the law enforcement body’s facility in Kabalye.
Museveni poured scorn on Al Shabaab’s reign of terror, saying, “In their bankruptcy and ignorance of War, they miscalculate that attacking soft targets will frighten the Africans and cause them to abandon the Somali People to these idiots. That will not happen.”