By Andante Okanya & Edward Anyoli

KAMPALA, Sept 25 — A group of 10 Al Shabaab terror suspects, including two women, have been produced in court and charged with terrorism.

The suspects appeared before Grade I Magistrate Simon Kintu Zirintuusa at Buganda Road Court in Kampala Wednesday. Nine of the suspects are Somali nationals while one is Kenyan. They are charged with aiding and abetting terrorism under Section 8 of Uganda’s Anti-Terrorism Act, 2002. A person found guilty of this offence is liable to suffer death.

Additionally, they are charged with the offence of belonging to a terrorist organization contrary to Section 11(1) of the Anti- Terrorism Act, 2002.

It is alleged that early this month, at various places in Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia, they rendered support to Al Shabaab, which support was meant to commit terror activities.

The suspects were rounded up in a joint security operation on Sept 13 in the Kampala city suburb of Kisenyi.

The Al-Shabaab, according to security sources, wanted to punish Uganda for the role played by the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) serving on a peacekeeping mission in Somalia in providing intelligence that enabled United States forces to knock out Al-Shabaab’s overall commander Ahmed Godane, early this month.

The suspects stood in the dock as the charges were read. A Somali language interpretor explained the proceedings to the Somali national, as instructed by the magistrate.

The magistrate explained to them that they cannot plead to the charges, because the court is not mandated by statute to allow them plead to the charge.

None of the suspects had any legal representative in court. The court’s resident state attorney Lino Anguzu, made an application to have the suspects detained in Police custody,

Accordingly, they were returned to Police custody and will reappear in court on October 7.The magistrate cautioned that in the event of torture, the application would be reviewed.


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