200 detained over illegal possession of firearms

Armed warriors captured by UPDF during a raid

Armed warriors captured by UPDF during a raid

By URN

At least 195 warriors have been arrested for illegal possession of firearms across Karamoja sub-region since the second forceful disarmament exercise began on July 19, 2021.

 The suspects are locked up at the 3Rd Division Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) headquarters in Moroto town pending trial in the court-martial. 

According to the 3rd Division Spokesperson, Captain Edrin Mawanda, some of the suspects were captured during combat while others were arrested based on intelligence reports.

He said intelligence information indicated that the suspects had illegal firearms, which is a capital offence and attracts a long sentence if found guilty.

Mawanda noted that the files of most of the suspects are ready, adding that arrangements are underway to charge them before the Court Martial.

Earlier, the constitutional court had ruled that it was illegal for civilians to be tried in the court-martial but the Supreme Court suspended the decision. 

The army has since recovered 38 guns and 228 bullets since the exercise began. The 3rd Division Commander, Brig. Joseph Balikudembe said all those whose files are complete will appear before the court-martial.
“All the warriors whose files are done will appear before court martial as we process files for others,’ he said  
 Currently, joint security forces are conducting a forceful disarmament exercise that is expected to be completed by November. Local leaders, clerics, women, youths, elders and civil society are involved in the disarmament exercise. 

John Robert Adupa Akiki, the LC 3 chairperson of Lotisan Sub County, said that since the local leaders were incorporated in the exercise, it is going smoothly because they are encouraging the warriors to voluntarily hand over their guns and the message is touching dozens.

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