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Uganda Security Said on High Alert for Commonwealth Summit

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will open the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) tomorrow in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. She arrived there Wednesday. More than 50 heads of government are also expected to arrive in the Ugandan capital Thursday.

An extraordinary level of security, including the army, local Ugandan police, and Interpol has reportedly been put in place for the summit. Minister for security Amama Mbabazi told VOA the Ugandan security forces are on high alert to ensure a smooth Commonwealth summit.

“The security forces have been prepared. We have taken all the necessary measures to ensure that there is no problem here. We have liaised with neighboring countries security forces, and again, I am satisfied that I think there is no likelihood that we will have a problem,” he said.

Mbabazi said there is coordination between all the security forces deployed for the Commonwealth summit.

‘We have a security committee, which I chair, and this comprises the minister of internal affairs, which is responsible for police. And we have the minister for defense, who is responsible for our armed forces, and we have all other security services, which are under President Museveni. And then of course the various commands are coordinated by a joint command which has been established under the commander of the defense forces of Uganda,” Mbabazi said.

He defended the use of the Ugandan army as part of the CHOGM security.

“The Ugandan army is deployed mainly to ensure that there is no terrorist action may be emanating from distances from the venues,” he said.

Mbabazi said the government does not expect any terrorist attack during the summit. But he said the extra security is precautionary.

“It’s not that we have any specific threat against the CHOGM summit. We have decided to take precautionary measure just in case anyone has bad ideas about the summit,” Mbabazi said.