Ugandan police gave indications, yesterday, that Al-Shabaab plans further bombings in Kampala next week during the OAU conference.
I imagine that several Heads of State who had planned to attend will not, now, or will greatly reduce their stay. In this regard, the Sunday bombings would have achieved their objectives, so further disruption wouldn’t be necessary. But:
Next week is not a time to visit Uganda. Wait until the conference is over July 28.
The OAU is the main body controlling the Somali peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu, and Uganda is the largest single contributor to that force. The OAU mission supports a weak Somali government being contested militarily by Al-Shabaab.
Ugandan police announced the arrest of Wasswa Nsubuga just outside the city yesterday and claim that he was carrying documents describing how to create 19 different types of bombs. He is an Ugandan who two years ago returned from Iraq where he had been working as a security guard. He currently works as a security guard in Kampala for a supermarket.
In his defense, and with credit to the police, Nsubuga explained to the press in a prepared statement that the documents he carried had been given him by his Iraq employer as a way of educating himself of the threats of terrorists.
But there were other Ugandan government actions that also suggested heightened concern as delegates to the OAU begin arriving, Saturday.
Police and military are visible everywhere from Entebbe to Kampala, brandishing large machine guns. Virtually every city hotel now has intense security, with under-body car checks made outside parking areas, and metal detectors being rushed to hotel entries.
Most of the larger shopping centers have also employed new, visible security measures.
But the most visible change has been at the airport at Entebbe. Check-in now takes about 4 hours, with multiple checks by Ugandan government officials followed by private security checks from the individual airlines.
My fingers are crossed for the Ugandans next week. On the one hand, the event now having occurred, it seems unlikely more could happen. But the clear and stated target was the African forces from the OAU now in Somalia, and their annual conference begins Saturday.