Following concerns about growing insecurity and violence due to raids by armed people in the Karamoja region, Police and the army have revealed plans to enhance the security personnel and introduce aerial surveillance.
The Deputy IGP, Maj Gen Sabiti Muzeyi and the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi have been in Karamoja to meet with local leaders and communities.
It followed concerns raised by legislators under the Karamoja Parliamentary Association, who called on government to revive the disarmament program as a way of curbing the insecurity in the Karamoja region.
The security chiefs held a consultative meeting with the Minister of State for Karamoja, Moses Kiige, Members of Parliament from the Karamoja, and other key stakeholders.
The meeting held at the 3rd Divisional Headquarters in Moroto sought to discuss the security challenges in the Karamoja sub-region and also devise measures on how to respond to them.
The major concerns raised included; fears of counter raids from across the borders between Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan due to the porous borders, inadequate police and military presence, gun trafficking and the re-emergence of guns, hostile alliances among ethnic groups to mention but a few.
Members emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach to combating the threats posed by raids and counter raids including hostile alliances and the illegal re-arming of criminal elements in the community.
In response to the concerns, Police and the UPDF expressed the determination of security agencies to counter all forms of raids and counter raids, and to bring perpetrators of such acts to justice.
Police in a statement released Wednesday said it was agreed that security in the area be enhanced.
As such, there will be immediate reorganization and boosting up of the Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) manpower.
Security agencies will also adopt use of aerial capabilities like aircraft and drones to counter raiders.
It was also resolved that the entry and exit into Uganda be regulated more through the creation of border posts, and to undertake mechanisms to ensure faster recovery of raided animals through quicker response, troop mobility.
Police also says there will be continuous forceful disarmament in grazing areas, identification of violent warriors and perpetrators of raids for arrest and prosecution, training and retraining of personnel.
Other measures designed to maximize effect included the continuous sensitization and awareness programs across governments.
“In furtherance of the Moroto meeting, the DIGP and his team embarked on a critical security assessment in the entire Karamoja sub region, where all detaches and deployments along the borderline and within our borders were thoroughly reviewed,” Police said in its statement.
Areas for the construction of border posts to regulate entry and exit were identified. Police will also reposition its forces through the creation of new detaches, additional logistical and manpower supplies to ensure better response to armed raids.
Police reported that in the last two months of December and January, out of the 31 incidents reported to Police, 287 stolen cows were recovered and efforts to recover 616 still in place.
“The public should know that the situation in Karamoja is manageable and under control. We have no doubt that our renewed security efforts, will restore total peace and security in the Karamoja sub-region”.