AFRICA.Uganda: Joint security forces in Uganda have arrested 400 suspected bandits terrorising the northeast part of the country. Items recovered from them include 186 guns and 650 live ammunition.
“For these arrests and recoveries Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) employed both forceful and voluntary approaches,” said Major Isaac Oware, the force’s spokesman at the third division.
Oware disclosed that the counter-terror operation was being carried out in about nine districts that comprise the Karamoja Sub-region as well as in districts of Kabelybyong and Katakwi in the Teson Sub-region.
His words, “About 232 suspected criminals have been prosecuted through the court martial sitting in Moroto District for various offences including possession of firearms. Others have been prosecuted through civil courts and could have been remanded or sentenced.”
“A good number were found with no case and were released to their respective communities after investigations,” he added.
The operations are targeting criminal elements in five categories which include armed criminals [warriors], those who drive livestock using bows and arrows, collaborators [Informers] and suspects of cattle theft and this has paid off because currently, the rate of raids has drastically reduced.
In addition, UPDF says, 2,921 livestock have been recovered. The 39th Battalion under 405 Brigade recovered over 200 herds of cattle from raiders along the Lions Bridge, a border belt between Napak and Abim districts, according to the spokesman.
“This single big recovery was done with air support [Helicopter] and close coordination with Kotido District leaders. Security forces have the mandate to see that all routes entering Karamoja are safe and more secure for effective service delivery. Insecurity had caused fears.” Oware added.
Disturbed by unending killings and pillage in Karamoja, lawmakers sued for a review of security architecture in the region.
“There is a need for the government to commit to protecting Karamojong people who face the danger of starvation, poverty, and sickness. They cannot sleep at night or do economic activities because of rustlers including those from Pokot-Toposa in neighbouring Kenya,” commented MP Achia Remigio.