By Our Reporter
Senior leaders and community members have vowed to join hands in ending criminality and maintaining peace in the Karamoja Sub-region.
In an expanded security meeting held at Moroto former state lodge over the weekend, senior leaders commended the security forces for prevailing over the situation. “The joint security forces have really done their work. And I want to thank them for their efforts towards security and peacebuilding,” Hon. Stella Atyang, Woman MP Moroto District said.
She urged the community to provide timely information to security for appropriate responses. “There are indicators that some guns are still in the wrong hands. We need to move first and remove these guns. We will work together as leaders to support the UPDF in disarming the criminals and restoring peace in Karamoja,” Moroto Municipality Member of Parliament (MP), Adome Francis said
Mr. Wopuwa George William, Resident District Commissioner (RDC) who presided over the meeting encouraged the community to report criminal elements so that appropriate action can be taken against them by the government authorities.
He added that although some people are now living in fear, following the double homicide which left two brothers dead in Moroto town early this week, the situation remains manageable.
The 3 Division Commander of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Brig Gen Joseph Balikudembe recounted that since July 2021, when the ‘Usalama Kwa Wote’ operation was launched, the forces recovered 683 guns, 4434 live rounds of ammunition from criminal elements across Karamoja. He added that since the beginning of this year January, 29 firearms and 106 ammunition have been recovered.
He commended the leaders and community for attending the security meeting saying that UPDF will continue with the disarmament operation until peace is restored in Karamoja.
The Division Commander encouraged individuals who still have illegal guns to hand them over voluntarily to avoid any inconveniences. He urged the communities to continue cooperating with security forces. “Avail us with credible information on suspects and their location so that we can investigate and bring them to that law,” he asserted
He noted that assailants now use boda-boda bikes to evade arrests after committing an offense. He urged the community to provide quick information to enable a response from the security forces.
His worship, the Mayor Moroto Municipality Mohammad Ismail called upon the police to step up operations and appealed for more enablers to enhance police capacity and deployments in the subregion.
He alluded that with security improvement, investors will be attracted to boost trade and businesses in the sub-region.
The Chairman Karamoja elders forum, Simon Nagiro called on the forces to work closely with the elders because they are highly respected by their communities to foster and convey mindset change messages easily that will positively make an impact for long-lasting peace.
Present were. Brig Gen Felix Busizoori, Deputy Division Commander, ACP Francis Chemusto, Mt.Moroto Region Police Commander, GISOs, Councilors, and over two hundred members from Matheniko and Tepeth communities.