Mozambican Police Holds Three Ugandans Over Terrorism

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In short
The Mozambican government reportedly communicated to President, Yoweri Museveni about the arrest of three Ugandans through the External Security Organisation ESO.

Mozambique Police are holding three Ugandans believed to connect an "Islamic terror" group. According to a highly placed police source, the suspects were picked up from Mocimboa da Praia district in Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique in January this year. 

The Mozambican government reportedly communicated to President, Yoweri Museveni about the arrest of three Ugandans through the External Security Organisation (ESO). "The three Ugandans are part of the membership of the Usafi Mosque, which was raided three weeks ago. ESO is coordinating with Mozambique on the matter," the source said. 

Among the suspects is Abubaker Ssenono who disappeared from his home in Mutundwe, a Kampala suburb together with his two children on December 29th, 2017. His mother, Afusa Namujuzi told URN in an earlier interview that her son left together with his 12- year- old daughter, Adillah Nakijoba and her 13 year- old sibling, Jamillah Nampeela.
The family discovered later that Ssenono abandoned the children at Usafi mosque and disappeared without any trace. "I filed a missing person's case at Mutundwe police station. They sent me to Old Kampala and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) but didn't get any help," Namujuzi told URN.

The identities of the remaining suspects are unknown as both the Mozambican Police and Ugandan security are tightlipped on the operation, which is still classified. The Deputy government Spokesperson, Shaban Bantariza declined to comment on the matter and referred our report to the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Margaret Kafeero, the Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson said she hadn't been briefed on the matter. "I have not been briefed on that but you know if it is a classified operation then it's possible for the security services that side to work with ESO without telling us," she said.

The Director General of the External Security Organisation, Joseph Okello Ocwet couldn't be reached for comment as he couldn't pick calls from our reporter. Information obtained from different online publications shows that Mozambique police have been running operations against Islamic Fundamentalists since October 2017 when one of their police stations was attacked.

More than 98 people have been arrested and several guns recovered. Some of the suspects were allegedly found using mosques as their training grounds. In April 2018, Mozambique media published that ISIS fighters had infiltrated the north of the Country and made their way to the port of Nacala. 

The police force came out strongly to deny the allegations saying, "The writer seems quite unaware that the real jihadist activities have taken place in Mocimboa da Praia district in Cabo Delgado province, which is nowhere near Nacala."


About the author

Dear Jeanne
Dear Jeanne is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Jeanne has been a URN staff member since 2014.

Jeanne started out as a political and crime reporter for NBS television in 2010. She went on to become a news director at the station before leaving in 2012 to join The Daily Monitor as an investigative reporter in 2012.

Jeanne is ambitious to improve her investigative reporting skills. Jeanne’s focus for much of her five year career has been to report on crime and security.