The 16 were apprehended today, Sunday in Nadunget Sub County during a peaceful identification exercise for over 1,700 impounded cattle from Kodonyo and Napar-Kwangan parishes in Lopuyo Sub County, Moroto district.
So far 88 guns have been recovered out of the estimated 500 illegal firearms in Karamoja, says the Division Commander, Brig. Joseph Balikudembe who has led the two-fold disarmament that includes, voluntary and cordon and search operations
Police and the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces -UPDF are conducting voluntary and forceful disarmament in the sub-region located in the neighbourhood of the armed communities of Turkana in Kenta and Toposa in South Sudan's Toposa.
The 3rd Division Spokesperson, Captain Edrin Mawanda, says that some of the suspects were captured during combat while others were arrested based on intelligence reports indicating that they have illegal firearms, which is a capital offence and attracts a long sentence if found guilty.
Anne Grace Aleper, a resident of Bazzar village in North Division has lauded local leaders for voicing community problems including food insecurity. She explains that this season is disastrous because sunshine destroyed their crops.
Peter Achucu Lokiru, a renowned raider responsible for raids in Karamoja and Turkana handed over himself to the army at the 3rd Division Headquarters in Moroto and promised to work with the UPDF and local authorities to persuade his fellow warriors to abandon the jungles and hand over their weapons voluntarily.
The Mt. Moroto Region Police spokesperson, Mike Longole, says the accident could have been a result of a mechanical. “We are still piecing up information but it looks there was a mechanical failure before the accident. The driver veered off-road,” he said of the accident.
The more than 20 legislators travelling in one bus moved from one district to another from Thursday spreading a message of peace and consulting the people how the region can sustain durable peace. They finalized the tour with discussions with the residents of Abim district where the cattle raids have been common since late 2015.
During the first disarmament process that ushered a window of peace for at least 10 years, there were some reports that the soldiers used inhumane methods including torture in order to make residents disclose where they kept the illegal guns, and some have reportedly suffered permanent disabilities and deformities while others reportedly died.
Maj. Mugisa also revealed that unlike the first disarmament where the army was only after illegal guns, the new phase of disarmament will also look at bows and arrows especially from the notorious category of warriors that he notes have been listed by the security agencies.
Peter Deyong, a resident of Moroto Municipality says that they have fears that some of the SPCs may engage in criminal activities using the uniforms. “We fear they may use these uniforms to engage in crime,” he told URN on Tuesday.