Maj. Mugisa also revealed that unlike the first disarmament where the army was only after illegal guns, the new phase of disarmament will also look at bows and arrows especially from the notorious category of warriors that he notes have been listed by the security agencies.
Some of the illegal guns recovered in Moroto last month
The 3rd Infantry Division of the Uganda Peoples’
Defense Force -UPDF in Moroto has received only two guns after asking the
locals to freely surrender illegal arms ahead of the forceful disarmament.
In March, the Commander of Land Forces, Gen. Peter Elwelu
announced a second phase of disarmament in Karamoja and asked residents in the
region to voluntarily surrender any illegal guns in their possession before the
army begins a forceful exercise.
But according to the Division’s Spokesman Maj. Peter
Mugisa, they have received only two guns since the announcement was made in
early March. One of the guns received voluntarily was handed over to the peace
committees in Nabilatuk while the other was handed over to the Gombolola
Intelligence Security Officer- GISO in Kotido district.
Maj. Mugisa notes that whereas they have continued to
sensitize the communities to surrender illegal guns, the response is very slow.
He revealed that the army will start another
phase of forceful disarmament of Karimojong next month if the response by the
locals is still low.
Maj. Mugisa also revealed that unlike the first disarmament where
the army was only after illegal guns, the new phase of disarmament will also
look at bows and arrows especially from the notorious category of warriors that
he notes have been listed by the security agencies.
“Some warriors have now resorted to using bows and arrows to
raid and kill people in the region. We have lost some people recently who were
killed using the bows and arrows and we have now categorized them in the list
of dangerous weapons”, he said.
He explained that they are still mobilizing personnel and
equipment to commence that exercise that he hopes will silence the region from
possession of illegal firearms.
Recent reports from Karamoja indicate that some youths
have fled their families after seeing army ferrying fighting equipment
including tanks to Karamoja region in preparation for the disarmament
Some of the youths have reportedly fled to Busia, Iganga and
Gulu districts while others have crossed to Lodwar in Turkana County in Kenya.
Karamoja has experienced another wave of cattle raids and
killings in the recent months.
A report from 3rd Division
headquarters in Moroto shows that UPDF recovered 150 illegal guns in the hands
of civilians across the nine districts of Karamoja, which is almost
twice the number of guns recovered in 2019 and 2018 in the region.
Maj. Mugisa told our reporter that some of the Karimojong
are now more daring to the extent of confronting armed UPDF personnel to steal
cattle. His comments follow a raid at Gen. Andrew Gutti’s home in Napak on
The army recovered over 50,000 guns from Karamoja in the
first disarmament exercise that started in 2003.
Bureau Chief, Soroti
Living the Pen