Uganda: UPDF Set to Deploy 18,000 Soldiers in Karamoja

The Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) is in the final stages to deploy up to 18,000 men and women in uniform in Karamoja to help wipe out criminality in the region.

Maj Peter Mugisa, the UPDF 3rd division spokesperson, told Daily Monitor that the deployment, which will begin soon ahead of the disarmament exercise, would help prevent alliances of the warriors, who have fueled the mayhem in the region.

Karamoja region that has enjoyed peace in the last 10 years after successful disarmament, recently became a battlefield again between the UPDF and cattle rustlers who resumed raiding and even waylaying people on the roads.

"We want to decisively deal with those unprincipled and evil alliances by putting in place measures that include immigration controls," he said.

On Friday last week, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen David Muhoozi, commissioned 403-brigade headquarters in Moru-Aloyete Village, Matany Sub County in Napak District.

Gen Muhoozi said the President issued a directive to ensure that the 3rd Division is reinforced with two more brigades in order to address the Karamoja security question.

The region initially had only two brigades and now the creation of three more brings to the total of five with each having about 2,000 soldiers.

"The issue of Karamoja is going to be solved by the use of both hard means like arraigning wrongdoers in courts as well as soft means like construction of such brigade facilities, taking children back to school and other alternative livelihoods," he said.

He appealed to leaders in the region to find ways of sustaining peace, putting emphasis on the long term strategy to address the livelihood issue beyond nomadic cattle economy.

According to Gen Muhoozi, there are enormous opportunities to unlock Karamoja's huge potential which must be used including education, gold mining, and many others.

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