KAMPALA – The human cost of terrorism has been felt in virtually every corner of the globe. Last week we suffered tragic loss of lives and property. Terrorism clearly has a very real and direct impact on human rights with devastating consequences on the enjoyment of rights to life, liberty, property and physical integrity of victims. It destabilizes government undermines civil society, jeopardizes peace and security, threatens social and economic development. Aims at the destruction of democracy, Rule of Law.
Vigilance is the state of being watchful or alter for danger or some kind of trouble. There is need for personal vigilance in combating the threat for terrorism which alive in Uganda now. Whereas government through security strategies is boosting vigilance levels to ensure Ugandans are safe following the recent incidents of bombings in Uganda. Individual vigilance is a necessity now than ever before. Terrorism is bad since the human values we share and work to uphold are deviated by terrorists.
It is clear that lapses aided the terrorist’s attacks. Undoubtedly, the targeted places had zero security controls in place, and the potions that day were beyond curfew times not forgetting the appropriate crowds. Tough security checks and protocols seemed inexistent. Lack of security anti-terrorism knowledge is lacking among Ugandans.
If Nyinaneza the waiter had sufficient knowledge of what a red flashing light on any abandoned device means in terms of terrorism, lives/property would be saved. Vigilance in terms of terrorism infers personal watchfulness, wakefulness and alertness to potential manifestation of terrorism attacks.
Whereas vigilance is susceptible to fatigue we must awaken our individual level. Individually we must sustain concentration and maintain attention over prolonged periods of time. Each of us must attempt to detect, prevent any appearance of a potential attack. Terrorism remains an extraordinary danger and threat and requires continued personal vigilance. This includes at home, workspaces, business etc.
Ugandans should create a culture of relentless vigilance from every one of us, day in day out in the fight against terrorism. Besides Covid SOPs compliance, security checks and controls at all public places must be a norm. The absence of personal vigilance in the fight against terrorism automatically gives the terrorists comparative advantage of its victims, allows lapses, predisposes us to harm, damages and total destruction of life and property. It affects the economy and definitely slows down development in a country.
You should be vigilant at all times especially in crowded areas and public places like hotels, transport hubs, restaurants and bars and during major gatherings like sporting or religious events. Following the Uganda police force, alerts and advice of local authorities is personal vigilance.
Individually shun shopping or visiting malls &Arcades without security checks which is personal vigilance. Notify any landlord of failure to install security checks &control on public buildings as hazardous. Alert police on any suspicious.
Train yourself and learn how devices look like to ease detection.
Install CCTV cameras in public spaces in order to scare away potential terrorists.
Ensure anti-terrorism training as an integral component of capacity buildings for police/security forces. Condemn Terrorism when it occurs and consistently raise a concern with the government.
Use every available opportunity to press for an end to the impunity of terrorism. Strictly monitor entrances to places of worship, recreation grounds and shopping malls.
NO Care attitude “individually. Do not relax and forget disasters, remain watchful and alert. Individual sensitization. The government has increased &improved capacity, equipment and personnel to fight Terrorism.
Develop individual counter-terrorism strategies that seek to prevent acts of terrorism. Address individually the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. The current attacks mean that no one should stand on the sidelines anymore. The fight should become individual and national because the impact of terrorism is being felt everywhere.
Without prejudice preventing terrorist attacks is a challenge for everyone, even for countries richly endowed with resources and skilled personnel. The task is doubting built let us security borders, tighten financial controls, put straight legal framework, improve criminal justice systems and say NO to terrorism.
Its clear government alone cannot deal with this scourge /challenge. Let our counter-terrorism strategies recognize the value of involving communities, the private sector, media and other groups in society. Encourage the exchange of intelligence, information and expertise between national agencies and across borders. The broader the response, the more effective it is likely to be. Government adopts comprehensive national’s strategies that balance hand end security measures with social, economic and community-driven policies that are grounded in the rule of law. Working as one, we can significantly reduce the number of attacks and victims and hopefully, one day eliminate the terrorist threat completely.
Ms. Joyce Nalunga Birimumaaso is a SENIOR ADVOCATE AND MEMBER, LEADERSHIP CODE TRIBUNAL