DP wants LDUs disarmed over misuse of guns

The Democratic Party (DP) has called for immediate disarmament of the Local Defence Unit (LDU) officers, saying that they lack training to act professionally with firearms.

Last week, former President of the Uganda Journalist Association (UJA), Robert Kagolo was reportedly gunned down by an LDU officer, adding his name to the list of many Ugandans who have lost their lives at the barrel of guns carried by LDUs.

While addressing journalists on Tuesday, DP Spokesperson Okoler Opio Lo Amanu said that government should consider disarming LDUs, to save lives of innocent citizens.

"We strongly believe that, it is dangerous for members of Local Defence Units to hold guns while dealing with civilians, the training they acquired makes such a weapon not only a danger to themselves but also to the community members subsequently, many lives have been lost due to negligent use of guns by LDU," Okoler said.

"Democratic Party demands that members of the Local Defence Units be disarmed for the purpose and intent of saving lives of Ugandans that continue to be lose through negligence in the use of guns."

Okoler said that guns should be a privilege of the Uganda Police and Uganda Peoples Defence Force officers, since these appropriate and enough training that enables them to use firearms professionally.

DP is not the first to call for the disarmament of the LDU.

Since their formation, several Ugandans, including members of parliament have called for the LDUs to be disarmed following reports of their engagement in criminal activities in different parts of the country.

In March this year, Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, the commander of land forces announced that the army had stopped all LDU services in Karamoja due to their engagement in criminal activities.

LDUs with a good record where integrated in the UPDF while the rest were retired.

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