8 February 2010

Uganda: 1,000 Illegal Guns Still in Karamoja - UPDF

Kampala — ABOUT 1,077 guns are still in the hands of the Karimojong, the UPDF 3rd division commander, Brig. Patrick Kankiriho, has said.

He added that the army had collected 29,923â-‚guns in the last eight years of the disarmament exercise in Karamoja.

"Very soon we shall declare Karamoja free from illegal guns. Then we can embark on integrated development and total pacification of the sub-region," Kankiriho said.

He made the remarks at the launch of the Army Week activities in Namalu sub-county in Nakapiripirit district last week.

He explained that the army was trying to recover the few remaining guns so that the sub-region could enjoy total peace.

"The daily road ambushes, massive raids and serial killings in Karamoja are now history," Kankiriho said.

He noted that there was need to stop the inflow of illegal guns, which he said was the only challenge that was hindering the disarmament exercise.

"Despite the deployment of troops on the Kenya-Sudan borders, some arms traffickers are still ferrying in guns," he said.

Security agencies in Kaabong district have in the last seven months recovered 26 guns and an unspecified number of bullets from gun traffickers from Sudan and the neighbouring Pader district.

Kankiriho added that the UPDF would continue to clean health centres in the Karamoja region.

"We do not want to clean once and forget till the next Army Week," he said.

The 3rd Division spokesperson, Capt. Henry Obbo, said the army will donate mattresses, jerrycans and plant trees at Amudat, Namalu, Kidepo, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and Moroto health centres.

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