Karangura Residents Want Permanent Security Presence

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In short
In the aftermath of fighting in the Rwenzori region, residents of Karangura Sub County in Kabarole district want permanent presence of security in the area.

In the aftermath of fighting in the Rwenzori region, residents of Karangura Sub County in Kabarole district want permanent presence of security in the area.  

Last month, the Uganda People's Defence Forces- UPDF and police, raided training camps in Nyabuswa village for a group that calls itself Esyomango sy'Obusinga, a youth group associated with Rwenzururu Kingdom. During the raid, eight people were killed.

The armed youth groups were also running patrols and collecting taxes in form of chicken, goats, and money and food items from the residents.  During the fighting, several residents abandoned their homes, while schools, businesses and health facilities also closed.  

The army later carried out raids in Kasese district in which more than 100 people died and hundreds others were arrested. Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere was arrested on November 27 when the army raided his palace in Kasese town. He has since been charged with murder and remanded. Also arrested are 149 of Mumbere's royal guards who the army believe are behind some of the attacks.

Weeks after the attacks, residents in Nyabuswa want their security guaranteed and don't want a repeat of last month's events.  

When Uganda Radio Network reporter visited Nyabuswa, life was slowly returning to the area. Nyabuswa Health Centre III, which had not been closed during the fighting was operating, several shops in Nyabuswa trading centre were open. Deployment of army and police in Nyabuswa trading centre had scaled down.

Dan Mwijukye, a businessman in Nyabuswa trading centre, says that the fighting aroused memories of killings and abductions by the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF which operated in the region between 1996 and 2002.  He explains that the unrest disrupted his business forcing him to close shop for three days.

Mwijukye wants a permanent army detach in Kamabare hills where several residents own coffee and banana plantations.

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Ruth Amanyire, a resident of Kamabare A village says that security officers tend to relax once calm has returned. She explains that some residents are still hiding in sub counties of Kisomoro, Kibiito and Rubona for fear of being attacked.

She adds that since the area has often been rocked by attacked, security officials should consider establishing at least three police posts.

Local leaders and police officers in Karangura have also launched a community policing drive in the area to enable the different tribes, the Bakonzo and Batooro in the area to mix freely.

Robert Mwesige, the Karangura Police Community liaison officer, explains that through community policing, they are also educating the communities on how to be vigilant all the time for other forms of crime or insecurity and not to be lured to join the groups.

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The mountainous areas of Karangura and Kabonero sub counties have in the past experienced insecurity. In September two police officers and five other people were killed following an attack on a community policing meeting.

Last month, a UPDF soldier was stabbed to death by unknown people in Nyabuswa trading centre. His death sparked off an operation by security officers which led to the death of four suspected attackers.


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.