ISO, UPDF disagree on Rebel Presence in Masindi

The Internal Security Organization and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces have disagreed over reports that there are rebels in Masindi.

ISO claims that the some remnants of the Allied Democratic Forces and the Lord's Resistance Army are in Masindi and neighboring districts but UPDF dismisses the claims.

Obadiah Musimenta, the Masindi internal security officer says the rebels, now moving in groups of two to eight are planning to disrupt the 2011 general elections.

But Lt Stephen Tumwesigye, the spokesperson of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces for the Masindi-based field artillery and air defense says the reports are not true.

He says the army, is not aware of any rebel presence in the region. He says, the army would have been the first and the last to know of any form of insecurity in the area.

But Musimenta insists that the presence of the rebels is not news in security circles.

He describes it as an open secret and calls on the public to be vigilant. He has even offered his telephone contact 0772 601 874 and that of the RDC 0772 454 178 as hotlines to the public to report any suspicious persons in their areas, in order to prevent the rebels from destabilizing the region.

Surprisingly, the DISO and the army spokesperson have their offices in the same building with the Resident District Commissioner and all sit on the district security committee headed by the latter.

As if overruling the army's version, RDC William Kabarole told Uganda Radio Network on phone that there are rebels in the district, but the situation is under control.

The army leadership has of recent said the two rebel groups are regrouping in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.