The ongoing cordon and search operation by the army and police has led to the recovery of 23 firearms from cattle rustlers across Karamoja region since the second phase of disarmament exercise started on July 17th, 2021.
Michael Longole, the Karamoja Region police spokesperson, says 12 out of 23 firearms were recovered through voluntarily disarmament while the remaining firearms were recovered through forceful disarmament.
According to Longole, they have not met any resistance since they launched the exercise. “From the time we launched a joint second phase of disarmament we have not registered any resistance from warriors like the first disarmament where it involved in a serious fight,” he said.
According to Longole, the army cordons off settlements while police enters and conducts the search. He noted that they recover between two to three firearms every day, adding that they are conducting the operation in full of observance of human rights.
Samuel Abura, a resident of Panyangara Sub County in Kotido district has described the ongoing disarmament as peaceful compared to the previous exercise that was chaotic.
“We lost a lot of people and soldiers in the first disarmament but this current one even civilians move together with the forces, which is good,” he said.
Jenifer Akidi, a business woman in Kotido municipality said the presence of guns in Karamoja was frustrating developmental projects. “I wish all these guns are removed so that we see really where it will come from again,” she said.
Peter Lokol, a resident of Lopei Sub County in Napak district proposed that after the disarmament exercise, government should find ways of relocating armed local defense unit personnel to other areas.
“Our own children who were recruited as local defense unit personnel are also part of the problem. How I wish the government could transfer them to work in other areas outside Karamoja and bring those without any connection to Karamoja to work here,” he said.