The 3rd Infantry Division of the Uganda Peoples Defense Force-UPDF in Moroto is in arrangements to conduct a forceful disarmament of all individuals in the Karamoja region in possession of illegal guns.
The decision to forcefully disarm Karimajongs follow March announcements by the Commander of Land Forces, Gen. Peter Elwelu of a second phase in which residents were asked to voluntarily surrender any illegal guns in their possession before the army begins a forceful exercise.
However, Karimajongs have since failed to surrender guns something that is prompting the army to carry out a forcefully disarm them in the second phase of disarmament.
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.