Ugandan army to deploy 3,000 troops to address insecurity in Karamoja

Defence ministry officials decline to state UPDF strength
Soldiers of the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) stand in formation. Courtesy Phpto/U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Carlotta Holley/released.

Moroto, Uganda | URN | The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) is to deploy more than 3,000 soldiers to address the persistent insecurity in the Karamoja region.

This was announced on Wednesday 17, March 2021 by the UPDF Commander of Land Forces Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu in Moroto. Gen Elwelu who addressed the media after a closed-door meeting with the UPDF top commanders at the 3rd division headquarters said the deployment which will begin soon will focus on searching for all hidden guns in the hands of the Karimojong.

“We are going to have a serious operation in Karamoja, am mobilizing for the troops and soon they will be arriving here,” he said.

Gen. Elwelu also announced the ban on activities of Karamoja Local Defense Unit (LDU) personnel.

Abraham Lokii, the Member of Parliament for Jie County in Kotido district welcomed the planned deployment of new troops in Karamoja saying they will give maximum support to the forces so that Karamoja becomes more peaceful.

Francis Kiyonga, the Amudat LC V chairperson said the new deployment should come with the new operational tactics if it is to succeed in addressing insecurity in Karamoja.

“I hope the army will not remove the troops quickly after seeing some change because the presence of the army in Karamoja is paramount,” he said.

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Betty Chelain, the newly elected district Woman Member of Parliament for Amudat thanked the army for the plan but appealed for cooperation with the local leaders so that the exercise moves on smoothly.

Last month, there was a clash between Jie cattle rustlers from Kotido district and UPDF soldiers at Kobebe, Moroto district.

The Jie cattle rustlers of Kotido had crossed to rustle animals in the busy Kobebe grazing area. One UPDF soldier was injured in the one and half hour gun battle.