MUSLIM PROTESTS: Kayihura Orders Security Reinforcements At Western Embassies
The Inspector General of Police Lt Gen Kale Kayihura on Friday morning ordered the head of Police Counter Terrorism, John Ndugutse, to deploy Special Units at all western missions in Kampala, Chimpreports reveals.
Kayihura further ordered Ndugutse to ensure security at the residences of all western envoys is beefed up to avoid attacks in the wake of massive protests against an anti-Muslim film that have since rocked Sudan, Tunisia, Libya and Lebanon.
Protests on Friday escalated as Tunisian protesters jumped over the wall of the U.S. embassy compound in Tunis, setting fire to trees.
Just next door in Sudan, demonstrators stormed the German embassy in Khartoum, raising an Islamic flag above the mission after a bloody fight with hundreds of anti-riot police personnel.
Fearing the wave of the Islamic protests sweeping Africa and Middle East could spread to Kampala, Kayihura instructed Ndugutse to ensure “maximum security for all western diplomats and their families to avoid embarrassing incidents such as assassinations and kidnaps.”
Kayihura also directed a Rapid Response Team should be put on standby to swing into action in case of any attacks on western embassies or diplomats.
The IGP, a source in his office revealed, also requested the Police Intelligence to closely monitor radical Muslims in Kampala who could exploit the fluid situation to hold a demonstration in Kampala.
Uganda has in the recent past been training Police commandos to respond to such attacks including kidnap
In a related development, the new US ambassador to Kampala Scott H. DeLisi on Friday condemned attacks on embassies by Islamic militants.
“What I reject as unacceptable on any grounds, is the use of violence and terror against innocent men and women in an effort to strike out at those with whom we disagree. We condemn the violence that has resulted from this video in the strongest terms, and we greatly appreciate that many Muslims in the United States and around the world have spoken out on this issue,” said Scott during the Launch of the Human Rights and Multi-Faith Dialogue Training Manual at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
“Violence, we believe, has no place in religion and is no way to honor religion. Islam, like other faiths, respects the fundamental dignity of human beings, and it is a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocents. As long as there are those who are willing to shed blood and take innocent life in the name of religion, the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace,” added Scott.
“And it is especially wrong for violence to be directed against diplomatic missions. These are places whose very purpose is peaceful: to promote better understanding across countries and cultures.”
Scott further noted that all governments have a responsibility to protect those spaces and people, because to attack an embassy is to attack the idea that “we can work together to build understanding and a better future.”
Scott admitted that the producers of the film “exercised that right in a way that deeply offended Muslims around the world. “
“Yesterday Secretary Clinton called this video disgusting and reprehensible. I share her sentiment and I believe most Americans feel the same way,” said Scott.
US Envoy to Uganda Scott has condemned Muslim attacks on western embassies in Libya, Lebanon and Sudan
Meanwhile, VOA reports that protesters also clashed with police in Yemen, where one person died and 15 were injured on Thursday when the U.S. embassy compound was stormed, and crowds gathered against the California-made film in Malaysia, Bangladesh and Iraq.
The film was blamed for an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans on Tuesday, the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 al-Qaida attacks on the United States
Pope Benedict arrived in Lebanon on Friday for a religiously sensitive visit, especially given anger over the film, which depicts the Prophet Mohammad in terms seen as blasphemous by Muslims, although the only protests in Lebanon against it were due to take place far from the capital.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington had nothing to do with the crudely made film posted on the Internet, which she called “disgusting and reprehensible,” and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff called a Christian pastor in Florida to ask him to withdraw his support for it.
About 300 people protested in Cairo, some waving flags with religious slogans. State media reported 224 injured since violence erupted on Wednesday night after a protest in which the embassy walls were scaled on Tuesday.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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