Pulkol: women dying under SFC noses, what’s special about elite force?

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Museveni's son with the elite presidential protection force

Security expert David Pulkol has questioned why President Yoweri Museveni’s guards are called “Special Forces Command [SFC]” when there is nothing special about them.

Pulkol, a member of the opposition Uganda People’s Congress [UPC] political party also served as the head of External Security Organisation [ESO].

Pulkol lost his temper on Thursday night while appearing on NBS TV “Frontline” programme to discuss the murders of women in Nansana and Entebbe municipalities in Wakiso district.

“Police have withdrawn. Where is the police? How can our mothers and daughters die for so long?” he lamented.

Pulkol said he a Parliament session where Internal Affairs minister, Gen Jeje Odongo, claimed a secret cult, illuminati, was responsible for the murders “and I was like ‘Oh My God, is this all we got?’ By now police should be having a picture.”

He said the government is now disconnected—they only get agitated when it’s a big person killed.

Host: Let’s talk about land.

Pulkol: It’s land on which these women are being killed.

He said people who are delaying government projects are not ordinary people but speculators waiting on government projects.

“You are going to be surprised that there are some government people who are buying airspace where ‘Uganda Airlines’ will pass.”

After a little distraction, Pulkol returned to the murder question: “What is so special about SFC if the area they are guarding is not secure?” Pulkol wondered.

He went on: “What’s so special about Special Forces? The president is quiet. It’s as if he is not in the country. Why is he the Commander in Chief?”

Pulkol even claimed President Museveni doesn’t know who is killing these women, the reason he has not said anything about.

However, while appearing on Vision FM radio station in Mbarara Municipality Tuesday, Museveni said government was going to put up cameras in urban areas to check on the crime rate.

He said that in the past government had focused much on the rural areas such as the north and the west, which had, rebels killing people but now the focus will be shifted to urban areas as the country is now peaceful and all the rebels have been defeated.

SFC history, missions

From independence in 1962 to 1986, what were called ‘Special Forces’ were usually paramilitary forces that were formed for political reasons and consequently behind some of the most heinous crimes and extra-judicial killings ever witnessed by the nation.

Museveni, recounted recently that the present Special Forces Command (SFC) metamorphosed out of the High Command Unit (HCU) that was established in May 1981, at Kyererezi, Kapeeka (in the present day Nakaseke District) that guarded HCU chairman during the NRA guerrilla war on the 6th of February 1981-1986.

That time about the size of an infantry platoon, was Commander Robert Kabuura. The late Akanga Byaruhanga soon assumed command of the HCU in those days of struggle.

Five years later in 1986 when the NRA/NRM captured power, the HCU was renamed the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU: 1986 – 2003). It had grown to the size of a few companies (about 400 soldiers). The first commander of the renamed PPU was Lt. Col. Akanga Byaruhanga (RIP).

PPU eventually expanded into a Brigade, the Presidential Guard Brigade (PGB) 2003 – 2010, was not only directed to continue protecting the President but also to defend the country and constitutional order.

In this expanded role PGB participated in counter-insurgency operations in northern and western Uganda on the express orders of the President.

PGB was renamed Special Forces Group (SFG) 2010 – 2012, and then Special Forces Command (SFC)     2012 – to date commanded by first son, Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba.

The SFC defeated counter-revolutionary forces that attempted to make a comeback in August of 1986 of Uganda Peoples’ Democratic Army (UPDA), Alice Lakwena’s Holy Spirit Movement (HSM), and the LRA.

From 2001-2006 the SFC participated in Operation Iron Fist that destroyed the LRA bases in Southern Sudan, in places like Birinyang, Kony Village, Lubangatek, etc.

In 2007, about 100 Allied Democratic Forces rebels (ADF) re-infiltrated Uganda and were annihilated by SFC at a battle at Semiliki National Park in Bundibugyo District.

Later on in 2008, the SFC was instrumental in the destruction of LRA bases in Eastern DRC; the operation was codenamed ‘Operation Lightening Thunder’. Surviving LRA leaders and rebels escaped to the forests of the Central African Republic.

SFC units, since 2011, have also been active in the African Union Peace Keeping Operation in Somalia (AMISOM) and played a key role in the liberation of Mogadishu and other areas from the strangle-hold of the extremist terrorist organization Al-Shabaab.