Legislators from Karamoja have requested for over shs 40billion to facilitate the new disarmament program in the region following deteriorating security and rampant cattle raids.
The UPDF 3rd Division is set to lead the disarmament targeting armed warriors who have constantly threatened peace and security in the area that has tested peace for a decade. The raids have claimed more than 249 people in recent years across the region.
At least two people are killed in Karamoja each week, according to Karamoja Development Forum – a local nongovernmental organization working for the rights of pastoralists and security in the region. It further says the figures exclude warriors killed in combat and those killed in 2021.
The raids have also led to the theft of an unspecified number of cattle prompting government and MPs to sanction the move to disarm warriors in the region to restore peace. The MPs have indicated that there is need for about shs 40billion for effective removal of all illegal guns in the area.
Remigio Acia, the Chairperson of Karamoja Parliamentary Group, says the money will boost the capacity of the security personnel and equip them to handle the task ahead. Acia notes that there is need to invest in civil-military tactics and fully operationalize security intelligence systems to net the armed criminals.
Acia says legislators from the region on the budget committee of Parliament shall call for a review of the national budget on security and ensure enough money is allocated for the disarmament program for Karamoja. Security bagged shs 3.7trillion the new financial year, which the MPs want to cater for the disarmament budget.
He made the remarks while debriefing the leaders on their findings of the security situation in Karamoja on Tuesday. The region has been relatively peaceful since 2009 following the aftermath of forceful disarmament that saw over 40, 000 guns recovered from the warriors. However, leaders have observed that a security lapse led to the proliferation of firearms from neighbouring countries throwing the region back to what the MPs call a ‘regional crisis.’ John Bosco Ngoya, the Bokora county MP has urged the army to begin the disarmament.
Brig. Joseph Balikudembe, the UPDF 3rd Division Commander, says that the disarmament is ongoing using intelligence-led-information, adding that they have recovered dozens of guns through cordon and search operations in different district.