Forty-three suspected Karimojong warriors who fled disarmament a decade ago have voluntarily surrendered to the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) in Kaabong district. This brings the number of warriors surrendering to 59 after 16 others recently handed themselves in to the army.
This brings the number of warriors surrendering to 59 after 16 others recently handed themselves in to the army.
According to the UPDF an estimated 200 are still in hiding after the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) dislodged them from their hideouts in South Sudan last month.
Brig. Stanley Kawaga, the UPDF 5th Division commander, confirms the development noting that this is a clear sign that lasting peace is returning to Karamoja. He commends the SPLA in collaboration with the UPDF for dislodging the gunmen at the common border now free of threats. He however adds that the army during search operations had recovered 22 guns in the districts of Kotido and Kaabong in the last seven months.
Recently, the SPLA handed over 329 animals, several children and women to the UPDF at Kangorok, a few kilometres from the South Sudan border.
Meanwhile, the 3rd Division Commander, Brigadier Nakibus Lakara, says 76 guns have been recovered by the army in the districts of Napak, Moroto, Amudat and Nakapiripirit. He attributes the achievement to the comprehensive support from the community who want to embrace peace after years of armed conflicts and rustling. He appeals to the Karimojong to halt criminal activities, advising those still armed to voluntarily surrender at no cost.
Lakara however notes that Karamoja still faces poor attitude towards change, asking parents to send their children to school. He says the army has extended 163 bursaries for the underprivileged students now receiving free education at Rubongi Army secondary school in Tororo. Ends