The Ugandan army has created a new division that will be in charge of securing the Rwenzori mountain and the surrounding areas, the Nile Post has learnt.
According to a statement by the UPDF spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire, the newly formed Mountain division will reinforce security within the Rwenzori region.
“The fully-fledged division will have its headquarters at Muhooti Barracks in Kabarole District,”Brig.Karemire said in the statement.
The Rwenzori region has been under constant threat from the Allied Democratic Forces that are currently located in the thick forest of the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Despite being reduced to between 700- 900 fighters, the ADF rebels have in the past few years regrouped and became a menace to locals especially in the Beni area.
In 2015, the group leader and founder, Jamilu Mukulu was arrested and is currently battling charges in Ugandan courts but this has not stopped the rebel group which was also enlisted as a terrorist organization to continue carried out attacks.
In 2017, they killed over 14 United Nations peacekeepers under the MONUSCO and last week they killed seven before injuring many others.
In December 2018, launched airstrikes against the group’s training camps and a number of their fighters were killed but the group remains active in thick forests in Eastern DRC.
Speaking during the function to inaugurate the new army division, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen.David Muhoozi said there was an urgent need to create the mountain division in order to have “specific force” that focuses on issues regarding the mountainous Rwenzori region.
“ADF and other negative forces still destabilize the eastern part of DRC and this creates greater threat to our country, the formation of this division was long overdue,”Gen.Muhoozi said
The Commander Land Forces Lt Gen Peter Elwelu who was represented by Maj Gen Sam Kawaga urged soldiers to remain fit and avoid living a reckless life that will put the security of the region at risk.
The new division is now commanded by Brig Gen Moses Kwikiriza who has been the second in command for the third Infantry Division.
The Mountain division stretches from Katunguru in Kasese district to Mubende and Kyegegwa districts, which areas have been under the command of the second infantry division.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the 5th Infantry Division Commander Brig Gen Steven Mugerwa, all RDCs of the Rwenzori region, heads of other security agencies, UPDF senior officers and local leaders.
The Mountain division located in Kasese, will have a picture of an eagle soaring high above a mountain with a blue and white background denoting the sky.
According to the new gazette for the UPDF, “We scale the heights”, will be the motto of the mountain division.
The division will have officers who have in recent years been receiving joint training with the French army officers.