The recent operations in Kotido, Kaabong and other parts of Karamoja forced many men out of their homes in fear of being arrested as suspected cattle rustlers and tried in the military court, leaving just vulnerable persons in the homes in what police say could lead to more suffering of innocent people.
Local leaders in Kotido say that the residents have evacuated their homes and moved to sother sub counties to live with relatives, friends or in-laws for fear of being subjected to forceful disarmament that is currently on going in the sub region. Others have taken refuge in Kotido town, leaving only the elderly, the disabled and local council officials in the villages.
The 3rd Division Commander, Brig. Joseph Balikudembe announced the extension Wednesday in Moroto saying the extended time is to allow the UPDF and other sister security organs disarm the region in order to usher in lasting peace to Karamoja. There are an estimated 500 illegal guns still in the hands of criminals in the region which have continued to cause insecurity in the region said the UPDF.
The UPDF 3rd Infantry Division which is enforcing the Presidential Directive on disarming the Karimojng is now on standby class one, to prevent any further terror attacks against security installations as wells as the general public.
According to the Mt. Moroto Regional Police Spokesperson, Michael Longole the police and the joint security forces in Karamoja have recovered 9,118 heads of cattle out of the 10,200 that were reported to have been raided or stolen.
A consortium of NGOs including Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services and White Taker among others are mobilizing the youths and families that handed over illegal guns voluntarily with an aim of sensitizing and empowering them for income generating activities such that they do not go back to raiding.
The accusations follow the declining recovery of stolen livestock as well as the low recovery rate for illegal firearms following the expiry of three months of voluntary and forceful disarmament in the sub-region.
The Deputy Commander of Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces 3rd Infantry Division Brig Gen ES Okolong while briefing the 2,600 recruits called for discipline, sacrifice, perseverance, sacrifice and patriotism, the key values for UPDF.
The 16 were apprehended today, Sunday in Nadunget Sub County during a peaceful identification exercise for over 1,700 impounded cattle from Kodonyo and Napar-Kwangan parishes in Lopuyo Sub County, Moroto district.
So far 88 guns have been recovered out of the estimated 500 illegal firearms in Karamoja, says the Division Commander, Brig. Joseph Balikudembe who has led the two-fold disarmament that includes, voluntary and cordon and search operations
Police and the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces -UPDF are conducting voluntary and forceful disarmament in the sub-region located in the neighbourhood of the armed communities of Turkana in Kenta and Toposa in South Sudan's Toposa.