23 March 2010

Uganda: Illegal Gun Trade Hits Arua District

Kampala — An unspecified number of guns suspected to be from Southern Sudan are being sold in Arua district, the resident district commissioner (RDC) has said.

Maj. Ibrahim Abiriga said security operatives had recovered 15 guns within the last two weeks.

"We realised that some guns were from Southern Sudan," he said.

The West Nile region Police spokesperson, Henry Alyang, confirmed recovering the guns but did not specify the number.

"It is still too early to say the guns were smuggled from Sudan but we have reports that it is easier and cheaper to get guns from Sudan," Alyang said.

He said most of the suspects had been take to court and remanded in Arua prison.

Abiriga said the arrests were in response to several killings in the district in the last two weeks.

At least five boda-boda cyclists were killed and their motorcycles stolen in the area within the last two weeks by unknown gunmen in the wee hours of the night.

He said unlike their Congolese counterparts, it is hard for them to cooperate with the Sudanese because they had no government representative in Arua.

However, the West Nile-based 409 Brigade army spokesperson, Capt. Peter Mugisa, said he was yet to be briefed about the incident.

"The brigade intelligence officer has not yet briefed me about this but when I get the details, I will obviously inform you (the press)," he said on Friday morning when contacted for comment.

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