The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) have decided to disband their peripheral forces, the Local Defence Unit (LDU) in Karamoja over gross misconduct.
Gen. Peter Elwelu, the UPDF Commander of Land Forces told the press that the decision was taken following reports that LDUs in Karamoja were involved in cattle rustling and the spate of killings that have paralysed the already fragile sub region in the past few months.
“Some of the LDUs have decided to be the source of the weapons to the raiders. They are the source of ammunition to criminals and others participate directly in the raiding, we have resolved to disband the LDU concept within Karamoja,” Gen. Elwelu said.
In recent months, a number of LDU officers have been found guilty of subversive tendencies and have been charged in the third division court martial.
Authorities in Karamoja told journalists that some LDUs had also developed conflicting royalties because of tribal tendencies.
Gen. Elwelu said that after the disbandment is complete, some LDUs will be incorporated in the UPDF while the others, who are guilty of subversion, will be retired.
“Those that we think and are willing to join UPDF will be trained, incorporated into the UPDF and redeployed outside Karamoja. Those that are not willing and do not qualify will be forcefully retired,” Gen. Elwelu said.
Gen. Elwelu added that the retired officers should not think about engaging in crime because they will face consequences.
“If the retired officers decide to engage in crime, the system will eventually catch up with them,” he said.
Additional reporting by Jonah Kirabo