President Yoweri Museveni has ordered increased army deployment in Bundibugyo after learning that bandits have forced many people to flee the villages and run to town where there is better security.
“We can’t entertain banditry and we can’t negotiate with bandits. They either come out or we shall get them out of their hide outs,” Museveni said as he told the army and police to step up their presence in border district.
Museveni is currently in the Rwenzori Sub-Region in Western Uganda on an assessment tour, after complaints from the people of the area about the deteriorating security situation in that district.
Several people that the President talked to on the numerous stopovers that he made at Busunga border town, Kabutabure Trading Centre, Nyahuka Town Council, Kayengye Trading Centre and in Bundibugyo Municipality, complained of the presence of several criminals and bandits in the region who specially come from the mountainous Rwenzori areas to terrorize villages in the low laying land areas killing people, looting their property and causing unacceptable insecurity.
“It is only the towns that are peaceful but people have been terrorized and have abandoned their homes in villages to stay in towns where there is Police presence that is also not enough,” a Bundibugyo resident told the President.
“Wrong elements have even disconnected the water supply system from the mountains cutting water supply to Bundibugyo Town,” the Resident District Commissioner of Bundibugyo, Mucunguzi Geoffrey told the President.
Accompanied by First Lady Janet Museveni who is also Minister for Karamoja Affairs and UPDF’s 2nd Division Commander, Brigadier Peter Erweru, the president arrived in the region yesterday and went up to Lamia post on the Uganda/Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border.
Although not many complaints were raised on the border security, Congolese nationals petitioned Museveni to prevail over Uganda immigration officials who stop DRC nationals from freely crossing into Uganda to do business in the country.
“Ugandans and Congolese are one people with the same heritage and most of you at the border speak one language and are related. These are mere colonial boundaries. I don’t see why you shouldn’t work together freely,” he said. He said he will talk it over with the DRC authorities.
The President Museveni also made a brief stop at Sempaya tourist site and toured Nyansimbi hot springs in Semuliki National Park. He commended the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and the workers Sempaya tourist site.
Moses Rukiza Moses, a ranger at the Park, told the President that the waters at the hot springs offer one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Semuliki National Park and boil up to 97 degrees.
The hot spring of Nyansimbi is historically known to be the ancestral origin of the Bamaga clan of the Bamba tribe of Bundibugyo district.
According to Rukiza, due to the importance that the clan attaches to the hot spring, the Bamaga clan members visit the hot spring annually in the month of November to seek blessings for their children, for wealth and many others supplications.