Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The number of guns recovered in the Karamoja sub-region increased in 2020.
The Uganda Peoples Defense Force- UPDF 3rd Division recovered 150 illegal guns in the hands of civilians across the nine districts of Karamoja. This is almost twice, the number of guns recovered in 2019 and 2018 in the region.
In 2019, the army recovered only 66 illegal guns while in 2018, 54 guns were recovered.
In less than six months, more than 50 people were killed in the region as warriors raided cattle.
There were also clashes between the warriors and the soldiers.
Brig. Joseph Balukudembe, the 3rd Division Commander says the increasing number of guns recovered is due to the intensive operations of the army in the region.
Brig. Balukudembe also says that the army recovered 2,060 ammunition and successfully convicted 145 warriors. The numbers are again higher than those of 2019 and 2018 when the army recovered less than 2,000 ammunition in both years.
However, the records available in Moroto 3rd Division command indicate that between January and mid-April 2021, the army has recovered 41 illegal guns, 391 ammunition and convicted 121 warriors across Karamoja.
Jackson Angela, an elder in Moroto says there is a widening gap between the army and the local leaders to bring peace in the region. He explains that whereas the army is on the right track to rid the region of illegal guns, the leadership is reluctant.
According to Brig. Balukudembe, the army has mapped out three districts in Karamoja with the highest crime rate. They include Kotido, Moroto and Napak.
Over 50,000 guns have been recovered from Karamoja since disarmament started in 2003.