The joint forces of the UPDF and Police have kicked off a forceful disarmament exercise targeted cattle rustler in Karamoja.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, the UPDF third infantry division commander, Brig Joseph Balikuddembe said starting today, the disarmament exercise code named “Usalam kwa wote” loosely translated as peace for all had been extended for another three months so as to get all the illegal guns from the hands of the civilians who have are causing havoc.
“The new phase of disarmament will mainly be forceful, involving cordon and search operations, and those found with illegal guns will be prosecuted,” Balikuddembe said.
He said that in order to carryout the operation, the forces have been beefed up with more troops, two helicopters and armored vehicles that will carry out patrols.
He also commended local leaders and residents for sharing intelligence information about criminal acts with the joint security teams.
According to the UPDF third division commander, the operation that started in July this year has led to the recovery of 105 guns, 1046 rounds of ammunition and 7726 animals have been recovered and handed to rightful owners whereas about 350 criminals have been convicted and sentenced.
During the same meeting, the Deputy Commandant of the Police Anti-Stock Safety Unit Latif Zaake highlighted how joint security forces have reinforced the guidelines regarding livestock movement to stop theft.
He added that sensitization programs on the requirements for the legal acquisition of livestock are on-going.
In September, President Museveni summoned top security commanders from UPDF, Special Forces Command, Police and the Internal Security Organisation over insecurity in Karamoja.
In a meeting held at at Morulinga State Lodge in Napak District, Museveni said the revenge attacks have led to the birth of other criminals who have taken advantage of the situation to form gangs using mobile phones across clans to raid and steal animals.