UPDF to ‘close room’ for voluntary disarmament in Karamoja

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UPDF to 'close room' for voluntary disarmament in Karamoja
UPDF to 'close room' for voluntary disarmament in Karamoja

Africa-PressUganda. The joint security forces involving police and the UPDF have disclosed that they will ‘‘close room for voluntary disarmament and switch to forceful disarmament in the Karamoja Sub-region effective October 17.

This was revealed by Karamoja Regional police Spokesperson, Mr Michael Longole said: ‘‘From July 17 when the third phase of disarmament in Karamoja was launched, only 88 guns have been and over 800 rounds of ammunition have been voluntarily recovered in the area.’’

The disarmament exercise followed a growth in insecurity that disrupted a 15-year period of relative peace.

According to Mr Longole, security forces had given the rustlers a grace period of three months to hand over their guns peacefully without being charged in the courts of law but only few have complied.

“After 17th day of this month, those who have refused to hand over guns voluntarily will test the strength of the joint forces and we are prepared for them should they try to resist,” he warned.

Through the same press briefing on October 8, Mr Longole also informed that the criminals have killed 125 innocent locals in the last 11 months.

President Museveni has since heightened security in the area, ordering for a massive deployment of the UPDF and other security apparatus.

Some residents support the move by government to adopt forceful disarmament.

“These rustlers when you handle them in a soft way they will not stop committing crimes but they need to be hit hard,” said Timothy Lokut, one of the residents of Lomunit Village in Nadunget Sub-county in Moroto District.

But for Napak Distirct resident and social worker Marry Nakut, “these cattle rustlers have mastered the intelligence circle of the armed forces and that’s why they have continued raiding the area for animals.’’

Mr Longole assured locals that security is determined to restore sanity in Karamoja Suub-region.

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