Minister Jeje Odongo Lectures Journalists on National Security

Kenneth Kazibwe

The Minister for Internal Affairs, Gen Jeje Odongo on Thursday took a group of over 20 journalists through a lecture on national security.

The media has of recent been awash with stories in relation to what has been termed as deteriorating security situation in the country characterized by kidnaps and murders in various parts of the country.

The minister used the opportunity to take the various journalists through the concept of national security in a bid to equip the members of the fourth estate with knowledge that comes in handy during their daily reports.

“The concept of national security is as old as the institution of the state,” he started his lecture.

He told journalists that the word national security started in the 17th century during the Westphalia wars that he said lasted between 30 to 40 years and the entity called the state came into existence.

“Due to the issue of territorial integrity and non- interference in internal affairs, the issue of national security came up.”

The former army commander and minister for defence that the end of Westphalia wars led to birth of a concept known as the three-legged stool comprising economics, military and politics as the three legs whose management was referred to as management of national security.

Gen.Jeje Odongo said that after the collapse of cold war politics, the three legs expanded to include environment and society as part of national security.

“The wellbeing of all these five aspects constitutes national security and each aspect has influence over the others,” he said.

Current situation

The Internal Affairs minister turned to the current situation that he said many have portrayed as being a precarious security situation but dismissed the narrative.

According to the retired UPDF general, despite the recent spate of women murders, kidnaps and the current wave of murder by shooting the situation is normal.

“It is sad and unfortunate but through tedious work, we have 17 people in connection to the murders of women in Entebbe and Nansana areas of Wakiso.”

He said that DNA samples were taken and investigations found out that the murder of seven women was connected to one suspect.

“Whereas we may not be satisfied with the results, there is still work to be done to bring all culprits to book.”

Assassinations

A number of high profile people including prosecutor Joan Kagezi, Muslim clerics, Maj.Muhammad Kiggundu, AIGP Andrew Kaweesi and the latest being Arua Municipality MP Col.Ibrahim Abiriga have in the past few years been killed in an almost similar fashion.

The killers in all the instances travelling on motorcycles have shot at their vehicles and took off into thin air.

A number of suspects in all these gruesome murders have been arrested but save for Muslim clerics, none has ever been convicted.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Gen.Jeje admitted that government does not have concrete evidence to pin the suspects arrested but noted they are following leads .

On kidnaps, he said security has had a breakthrough to stop the crime but said the security challenges will always continue as they build capacity and capabilities to deal with them.

“There is no single  silver bullet as a solution for all these challenges but we are taking on them step by step,” he assured.

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