KAABONG – The Uganda people’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has issued a serious warning to the Karimojong pastoralists in Kaabong District not be tempted to acquire illegal guns.
The warning was sounded by the UPDF 3rd division commander Brig. Richard Otto on Monday during the meeting between Karimojong and Turkana in Kaabong.
The meeting was held in Loyoro Sub County in Kaabong district and it was attended by two neighbouring pastoralists the Turkana and the Karimojong.
Brig Otto said the army will not tolerate any person trying to destabilize the current peace that Karamoja has gained.
“The current relative peace is hard-earned, out of sacrifice, and commitment, not only by the UPDF but all stakeholders and peacemakers. You must avoid any acts that may distort peaceful dividends and take us back to square one,” he said.
He added that the cooperation and commitment is paramount in consolidating the successes though much effort is desirable.
Violence and lawlessness had for many years reigned in Karamoja sub-region due to illegal possession of guns by the Karamojong which perpetuated cattle rustling within and outside the region.
The government then launched forceful and peaceful disarmament exercise in 2001 and statistics show that by September 2013 the army had recovered 31,892 guns and more than 20,000 bullets.
Presidents Museveni then ordered for the recruitment of the disarmed Karimojong to be trained as Local Defence Unit personnel where they were paid monthly salaries to help the army trace the remaining warriors who had refused to hand over their guns.