Kampala, Uganda | URN | Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has started conducting a two week refresher course for 6,000 Local Defence Units (LDUs).
In statement issued by UPDF Spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire, the refresher training is being spearheaded by deputy Land Forces commander, Maj. Gen Sam Kavuma.
LDUs all fall under the UPDF First Division command headed Maj. Gen Samuel Kawagga.
In a bid to eliminate violent crime, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, ordered for the recruitment of 24,000 LDUs to back up police.
However, UPDF first recruited more than 6,000 for Kampala metropolitan area covering Kampala City, Wakiso and Mukono districts. However LDUs have caused public outcry over their indiscipline that has seen more than 20 people shot or beaten to death.
In the last three months of the COVID-19 lockdown, LDUs and police have been cited in the killing of 13 people in the name of implementing orders of the lockdown intended to curb the spread of the virus.
Last week, UPDF resolved to retrain all LDUs in observing and respecting human rights.
“The launch of the training took place today at Kakiri Barracks where all the personnel of the 10 Battalions of the LDUs operating in Kampala Metropolitan Policing (KMP) area will undergo weeks of the refresher training,” said Brig. Karemire.
In his opening remarks, Maj. Kavuma hailed the LDUs for reversing the undesirable security situation that had prevailed in KMP such as robberies, kidnaps and economic sabotage on factories among others.
“Records show that the LDUs have done great work in KMP. In the last six months alone, over 5 riffles have been recovered by the force, 02 pistols, 04 toy pistols, a number of walkie talkies, several rounds of ammunition of different caliber and other assortment of military stores. These could have been used to gravely destabilize the security of the people in KMP,” said Gen. Kavuma.
Gen. Kavuma said in order to maintain this positive trend achieved, LDUs under the refresher training will be covered by those attached to various police stations.
“Nevertheless, over 99% of the LDUs are doing a great job. The few who fell short of the operational standards have been charged in the court as per the laws,” said Gen. Kavuma.
He urged the trainees to take the training seriously so as to enhance on their professional journey in line with the acceptable ideology of UPDF.