By Richard Byamukama Bard
Any dispassionate analysis would question the centrality of the current War on Terror, at least in terms of overall human well-being, but it is necessary to accept this representation given its potency and centrality in international security thinking since 2001.
This calls for international and cross boarder combats against terrorism, the joint AMISON troops mobilisation for Somalia is a good example of a serious fight against terrorism.
The awakening call was raised by the September 11th attack on the Pentagon and and Wall Street by the the Al Qaeda boss Osma Bin-Laden in which nearly 3000 people died in a single day.
This awakened a serious global fight against terrorism and it’s funding partners which later followed the invasion of Iraq leading to the second gulf war on March 20th 2003 that later saw the ousting of the then government of Saddam Hussein.
The question of legality in the fight against terror seems to be by universal action as during the several state of the union addresses by President George Walk Bush, the USA president by then, didn’t not answer the question of the Legality of their invasion against Iraq.
The then Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Anan and the Security Council wouldn’t even be notified about the invasion.
UPDF war on ADF
Most responses to terrorist campaigns employ a combination of the following methods, but the balance may vary widely.
Initially, the Allied Democratic Forces operated in Kampala, Iganga and Masaka which are urban centers before they were defeated by our security forces to retreat into Western Uganda where they were later followed by the UPDF and defeated into hiding to the DRC.
This is a clear illustration that by these rebels having first operated in these urban areas of Kampala, Masaka and Iganga, they are very familiar and used to ways of executing their urban attacks against the country, a threat which any security analyst has to worry about.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) groups in the past have been relatively conservative in their operations, tending to stay with methods they have developed and have become experienced in using.
There is abundant evidence that these terrorists have learning environments which have combined with the internationalization of terrorism to allow the far more rapid spread of tactics than in the past like advanced fusing for improvised explosive devices.
There are three broad approaches to responding to terrorism. The approach most commonly used may best be described as traditional counter-terrorism rooted principally in policing, intelligence and security. Paramilitary groups are identified and taken into custody before they can carry out attacks, or if this fails then those responsible for the attacks are detected, detained and subsequently brought to justice, this has much to deal with strengthening the efficiency and working mechanisms of the Intelligence Agencies and police Counter terrorism and crime intelligence services. In addition, improved security is directed at providing increasing levels of protection for perceived targets.
The second approach is more overtly military and involves direct military action against paramilitary organizations to dismantle their bases, especially when they have distinct physical locations. If they are clearly seen to be sponsored by a state, that state may itself be targeted for punitive action or even regime termination.
This however has much to deal with international law and diplomacy. Some Countries has no abilities to revert para militaries from the neighbouring countries due to their domestic problems or laxity by their governments like the case has been with DRC for the past decades, where the Ugandan terrorists have been hiding in their forests, with several other insurgencies from the neighbouring countries.
The third approach concentrates on the underlying motivations of terrorist groups and the environment from which they draw support.
While there may be a belief that the leaders and the most dedicated cadres of a paramilitary organization may have a degree of motivation and determination that is difficult to undermine, this approach is rooted in the idea that most paramilitary groups have evolved and are operating within a much wider context.
They do not exist in isolation but depend for support on a sector of a particular society that shares their aims and approves, to an extent, of their methods.
This approach also recognizes that there are conditions in which negotiations with paramilitary leaders may become possible, often with the utilization of mediators acceptable to both parties.
The question of legality of UPDF operations in against ADF in DRC
The UPF was deployed in the DRC under Section 39 subsection (b)of the UPDF Act of 2005 under “a peace enforcement mission” which section doesn’t first require parliamentary approval. Section 39 of the UPDF Act provides for peace keeping Under subsection (a), then peace enforcement under subsection (b).
Under section 39 (b), 1&2, The UPDF seeks Parliamentary approval only when going for a peace keeping mission!!! It says nothing about peace enforcement mission!!!
This implies that there no any single rule in the provisions of both the Constitution and the UPDF Act compelling the army to seek parliamentary guidance whenever going for a peace enforcement mission like it is doing in DRC.
The provisions quote Parliamentary approval of the UPDF while going for a State war Under under Article 124 of the Constitution, and another Parliamentary approval when going for *a Peace keeping mission* like it is for the case of Somolia or if the UPDF has to do it in any other country.
The UPDF army is not at a state war with any country, and neither in a peace keeping mission with DRC. The UPDF is conducting *a Peace enforcement* mission under Section 39 subsection (b) of the UPDF Act and this doesn’t mention anything like Parliamentary approval
The peace enforcement mission procedures are laid under section 40 and 41. It only requires an agreement called *”The Status of Forces”* agreement which has to be signed by the Minister of Defense of Uganda and the Minister of Defense of the host country.
Such agreements are further provided for under Article 23 of the African Charter. All people shall have a right to national and international peace and security. Country’s territory shall not be a base favoring or harboring subversive or terror activities against the people of another state party.
The Constitutional provisions under Article 124 are insufficient because it mentions about a state war, which in this case doesn’t exist. We are not at a state war with any country.
We should not be tolerant to terrorism and it’s agents as the indoctrination of terror doctrines may haunt us in the future. In Sokoto, Northern Nigeria, there were elements of Fundermentalism in the 17th Century with people like Uthman Danfodio, Al Hajji Umar which I believe those elements have breed through the generation to account for terrorism in Northern Nigeria today.
The author is a Lawyer and Security student
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