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1,500 police officers deployed in Karamoja

Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | 1,500 police officers have been deployed in the Karamoja region. The deployment is seen as a boost to the security in the region aimed at cracking down on armed warriors and cattle rustling.

The deployment comes as police and UPDF are carrying out a disarmament exercise in the region. There are about 500 illegal guns in the region which the joint forces are targeting to remove by February next year.

The Moroto regional police spokesperson, Michael Longole described the new deployment as key and strategic to the insecurity needs of the region. He said that they would beef up security in the region.

Longole says the deployment that includes 1,200 ASTU officers and 300 regular police will allow the security forces to curb criminality and ensure peace prevails.

According to police records, 150 people have been killed by the warriors and 73 cattle rustlers killed by government forces since November 2020, when raids resumed. 13,000 heads of cattle were reportedly stolen and 9,000 recovered.

The security forces in the region are currently sensitizing communities in Karamoja to voluntarily hand over guns and embrace government programs meant for poverty alleviation.

UPDF commanders as well regional police are conducting regular meetings with elders and youth to encourage those who have fled their homes to return and hand over their guns.

Gun reception centers have also been established in each parish to facilitate voluntary disarmament through the local leaders as the army is enforcing forceful disarmament.

Since July, the joint forces have also recovered 120 guns with 1,200 live ammunition.

However, police say there are more illegal guns within the region.

At least 500 Karimojongs including youths have been arrested in connection to possession of illegal firearms with about 350 convicted by the court-martial.



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