Muslim Leaders Trained on Combating Terrorism by Security Organisations

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The top leadership of intelligence agencies, including the Uganda Police Force (UPF), the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), have trained hundreds of Muslim leaders from various sects in Kampala to improve Uganda’s counter-terrorism efforts.

Col. Emmy Katabazi, the Deputy Director General of ISO, and Capt. Stephen Chwinya, the Director of Counter Terrorism ISO, gave lectures to the Muslim leaders during a two-day training that was held at the Golf Course Hotel from March 6 to 7, 2024.

According to Col. Katabazi, violent extremism is ideological, which is why security agencies have resorted to soft approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism that leads to terrorism.

He explained that the soft approaches include community engagements, dialogues, tackling youth unemployment, and engaging and working with religious leaders as security ambassadors in creating community resilience against violent extremist ideologies and extremists.

β€œI thank you Muslims for amiably working with the security agencies to promote security in our country. Continue to encourage Muslims to embrace government development programs such as PDM to alleviate poverty,” Katabazi said.

Capt. Chwinya told Muslim leaders that a successful approach to preventing terrorism demands the identification of early signs of radicalization and the mitigation of individual and collective grievances.

β€œFor all governments, the most effective solution requires a whole-government approach with unity of effort among all agencies. Therefore, the best solution will focus on a broad strategic approach that emphasizes prevention and preparedness as well as response and recovery,” Chwinya said.

Brig. Gen. Abdul Rugumayo, the Deputy Chief of the CMI, said that the major cause of socio-political and economic problems is poverty, urging Muslims to participate in economic activities that can generate per capita incomes to alleviate poverty.

Since February 2022, the Uganda security agencies have been engaging and sensitizing communities of Muslims under the theme β€˜Islam is not terrorism and Muslims are not terrorists’. These efforts are aimed at changing mindsets against the victimization of Muslim communities, refocusing communities on violent extremist ideologies, and instead embracing peaceful living.

The training was aimed at training over 100 selected Moslem leaders across the various sects in Kampala to augment their involvement as ambassadors in prevention and countering violent extremism.

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