NAIROBI: Uganda heightened security for Sunday’s World Cup final and pushed a media campaign calling for vigilance among residents, many of whom remain scarred eight years after twin bombings left 76 people dead during the 2010 final.
“The finals are definitely the most exciting part of the World Cup and terrorists tend to take advantage of such moments to attack for bigger impact and visibility of their evil acts, so we are warning the population to be on high alert,” Ugandan police spokesman, Emilian Kayima told AFP Sunday.
“We have deployed heavily and our commanders have been given orders to stop and arrest any suspicious person or persons in their areas of responsibility for questioning,” he added.
In 2010 Somalia’s Al-Shabaab targeted Ugandan fans watching the final between the Netherlands and Spain at a restaurant and at a rugby club in the Ugandan capital.
The attack, the first outside Somalia by the militants, was seen as revenge for Uganda sending troops to the war-torn country, and many remain cautious.
“Since the 2010 terror attack to me business has never been usual. I watch my favourite teams play from the comfort of my home not bars anymore,” said businessman Seith Akwataho, 41.
Denis Ojukur, a 28-year-old artist, told AFP: “I go to video halls, pay for entrance and watch the games but I avoid crowded corners and am cautious of the person seated next to me”.
In a massive security campaign, Ugandan police are using posters, leaflets, television ads and a hashtag #SafeWorldCupFinalUG to urge vigilance.
“Public places screening the match must follow police guidelines on terrorism including having exit points in the event of a disaster or emergency situations,” Kayima added. —AFP