Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF has begun training the Local Defence Unit personnel who have been serving in Karamoja as a step toward integration into the national army.
There has been a public outcry about the conduct of the LDUs in Karamoja, with some of them being blamed for participating in criminal activities including raiding cattle.
At least 2,600 recruits including 446 females have started a 6-months-military training that will see them integrated into the national force and therefore deployable countrywide.
Earlier, LDUs from the sub region were being deployed to their own districts to serve alongside the UPDF in keeping security and help in tracking stolen animals.
The Deputy Commander of Uganda Peoples Defence Forces 3rd Infantry Division, Brig Gen ES Okolong while briefing the 2,600 recruits called for discipline, sacrifice, perseverance, and patriotism, as the key values for UPDF.
“You are here for 6months training,” said Brig Gen ES Okolong. “I advise the recruits to work hard in order to serve wanainchi. I urge you to have conscious discipline, sacrifice, perseverance, and patriotism.”
Lt. Col. Eria Mugasa, the Commandant Olilim Military Training School, told the recruits to show cooperation between the students and their instructors for successful training.
The Moroto district chairperson David Koriang, has underscored the importance of this training for the LDU personnel saying it will equip the recruits with military skills and overhaul their local attitude toward a national service.
The move to retrain the LDU was adopted by the leaders from Karamoja who noticed a lot of indiscipline amongst some LDUs who at times connived with cattle rustlers from their home districts to raid cattle from neighboring districts. Some of them were cited in other criminal activities including murder while others reportedly hired out their guns to criminals.