Local Defence Unit personnel are set to resume operations after completing a two -week refresher course at the Kakiri military barracks, the UPDF has said.
According to the army spokesperson, Brig.Flavia Byekwaso, following the withdraw of the LDU personnel, several incidents of criminality have increased especially at night.
“Severally, local leaders and the general public have petitioned security leaders to re-engage them in order to contain the situation. Following indepth consultations with security stake holders, we have agreed that LDUs who have undergone and completed their training resume operations only at night in support of the Uganda Police Force to curtail criminal activities,”Brig.Byekwaso said in a statement.
In the past, LDUs have been accused of conducting self-initiated operations where they have robbed members of the public but according to the army spokesperson, the personnel will now participate in intelligence led operations on specific targets on request and in support of Uganda Police Force.
“Members of the Local Defence Force shall not participate in daytime enforcement of COVID 19 directives outlined by the Ministry of health and the head of state.”
According to Brig.Byekwaso, the recent spate of criminality in various parts of Kampala prompted several leaders to petition the army to return the LDU personnel into operations.
The army spokesperson however asked members of the public to cooperate well with the LDU personnel to help fight criminality.
A total of 10 Local Defence Unit battalions were two weeks ago recalled from the field for a refresher course training at Kakiri military barracks after several incidents of human right abuses by the personnel
The personnel had been involved in several incidents of shooting, robbery, torture and unlawful arrest of members of the public prompting complaints.
The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic saw the LDU personnel brutalise several members of the public while enforcing the presidential guidelines on stopping the spread of the virus.
The latest incident saw the personnel assault Mityana district LC 5 chairperson, Joseph Luzige as he tried to intervene in a case where a lady had been brutalized by the same LDU personnel in Mityana town
The LDU personnel have however been retrained in political education, civil policing, human rights, law and the role of media in military operations among others in training sessions conducted by both the UPDF and Uganda Police instructors.