General Edward Katumba Wamala, Uganda’s Chief of Defence Forces has said Allied Democratic Forces– ADF leader Jamil Mukulu could be behind the three day siege on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi that has so far calimed 62 lives and left 175 others injured.
General Katumba told the media on Tuesday that Mukulu is now trying to assert himself as the Al Shabaab leader in the region. The Somalia-based Al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday afternoon on the busy upscale shopping complex.
General Katumba told a news conference at Mbuya Army headquarters in Kampala that the siege on the mall by Al Shabaab fighters could have been an attempt for Jamil Mukulu to account for funds given to him.
Unconfirmed sources say that Mukulu is trying to secure command of the Al Qaeda cell in the region.
Other terrorist cells linked to Al Qaeda like Al Hakim in West Africa and the Al Shabaab in Somalia have given their accountability and that it’s Jamil Mukulu who has not given accountability for the monies he receives from his funders.
Katumba said the ADF now operating in Eastern Democratic Republic Congo once used grenades to attack people in Kampala. Between 1997 and 2000, several incidents of grenade attacks in Kampala killed tens of people and the security forces concluded that it was the work of ADF rebels who were operating in Western Uganda and eastern DRC.
Katumba Wamala assured the public of UPDF’s preparedness to handle any Al Shabaab threats saying that in case of any attack, there will be a joint response.
He called for the extension of terrorism awareness campaigns to the villages. Katumba said the Al Shabaab may change tactics and attack something else next time.
On reports that the UPDF through the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence – CMI had trained and armed operatives against ADF who they later abandoned without pay, General Katumba said these operatives were disbanded because of indiscipline. He said it’s these people who were responsible for torturing members of the public, and failed to clear debts bringing a bad name to UPDF.
General Katumba assured the public that UPDF was more firm and ready to deal with a Watergate-like situation in Kampala.
He commended the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura for sending technical support to Kenya to help with gathering evidence saying it would help establish which exact cell attacked the mall.