President Yoweri Museveni has stepped in to rescue the popular Nyege Nyege festival, which faced the risk of cancellation due to travel warnings from the United Kingdom and the United States citing terror threats. The annual festival, set to take place in Jinja, Uganda, recently emerged from Covid-19 restrictions but is now under the shadow of potential violence.
The United States and United Kingdom diplomatic missions in Uganda issued separate warnings, advising their nationals to avoid crowded events, including the Nyege Nyege festival, due to the perceived terror threat in the country. The UK embassy cautioned against large gatherings, including festivals, citing a growing terror threat that targets foreigners.
The US Mission in Kampala went a step further, directing its staff not to attend the festival, emphasizing security concerns. Similar warnings were echoed by the Irish Embassy in Uganda, urging their citizens to steer clear of large gatherings.
President Museveni swiftly responded, assuring the public that the country is safe. He stated, “The security forces are guarding the pre-prepared public functions like the Nyege Nyege.” He also mentioned ongoing security measures, revealing that the Ugandan army had captured the suspected leader of the Allied Democratic Force group responsible for the recent killing of two tourists and their Ugandan guide in Queen Elizabeth National Park on October 17, 2023.
Museveni explained that the rebels, facing desperation after their hideouts in the Democratic Republic of Congo were destroyed, had resorted to small groups attempting to re-enter Uganda and commit acts of terror. Despite these challenges, Museveni emphasized the commitment to reinforcing security in the region.
The Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) successfully neutralized the suspected killers of the tourists as they attempted to cross Lake Albert in Western Uganda, marking a significant development in the ongoing operation against the rebels that began in November 2021.