The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces ( UPDF ) is determined to keep the country peaceful from both internal and foreign disturbances of any kind, the UPDF Commander Land Forces (CLF) Maj Gen Peter Elwelu has said.
Maj Gen Elwelu said that security, protection of civilians and their property are top priorities of the UPDF.
He was Saturday speaking as the Chief Guest at the pass out ceremony of 1,917 Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel who have been under going vigorous basic military training for 4 months since March 3 at Hima Kasese District.
Elwelu congratulated the trainees for completing the four months training successfully and officially welcomed them to the UPDF family. He added that the LDUs will be working under the Director of Auxiliary Forces.
The General told the trainees that serving as a UPDF soldier or an LDU was no luxury but a sacrifice.
“You should be prepared for the tasks ahead and keep the areas peaceful wherever you are deployed”.
LDUs being natives of the area, are asked to work closely with the communities.
The Commander Land Forces urged the newly passed out LDUs to be able to arrest wrong elements before they even fire the first bullet.
He informed the gathering that there are negative forces in Eastern DRC who want to destabilise the peace Ugandans are enjoying but was quick to add that they were being monitored and will be dealt with accordingly.
“UPDF has been in Central Africa Republic, DRC, Sudan and Somalia for the sake of peace and helping out our brothers and sisters achieve peace in the spirit of Pan Africanism” Gen Elwelu said.
Of the 1,917 LDUs, 30 of them were females .
The CLF later gave out awards to the best performing students , with best over all student being Pte Kiiza Jackson, best in the field was Pte Mulekye Arthur while the best in discipline was Pte Lekua Bridget .
The Chief of Training and Recruitment, Brig Willis Byarugaba thanked the commandant of the school for a job well done and thanked the community for the good cooperation. He cautioned the newly passed out LDUs against causing insecurity but instead promote security wherever they will be deployed.
Brig Kayanja Muhanga the 2nd Div commander said the whole of western region was now peaceful and with the newly passed out LDUs the security was going to be strengthened further .
The commandant Hima military training school, Col. Jonathan Ochom asked the newly passed out LDUs to maintain good discipline and also protect themselves from the deadly disease HIV/AIDS since it has got no cure yet.
The LDUs were recruited from all districts of western Uganda and will work closely with the UPDF. Their main task will be to augment local security as UPDF deals with major operations. This was the second in take of LDUs, the first having been passed out in 2011 at the same training school.
LDUs have done a commendable job in the different parts of the country along side UPDF in stabilising the country. Lango had Amuka, Teso had the Arrow boys, Frontier guards in Kitgum and ASTU in Karamoja.
The function was attended by all Brigade Commanders under 2nd Div, the RDC Kasese, local leaders and parents of Graduands.