The Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative-ARLPI has asked the government to tighten security along the porous border points to prevent gun crimes.
Sheikh Musa Khalil, the Vice-Chairperson of ARLPI, says that the recurrent armed violence is linked to Uganda’s porous point with its neighbours South Sudan, Kenya, DR. Congo, and Rwanda.
Khalil, who is a former asylum seeker in South Sudan, says that crimes such as terrorism, cattle rustling, robberies and suicide bombings in Uganda are being facilitated by the supply of weapons through the porous borders.
He argues that for security to completely wipe out gun violence and illegal possession of firearms in Uganda, it must heighten deployment and the intelligence network along the porous borders.
Khalil told URN in an interview that the current disarmament exercise and voluntary surrender of firearms and light weapons launched in the Acholi Sub Region might also be jeopardized by the porous borders, which facilitate the free entry and exit of those weapons.
The government through the Internal Affairs Ministry`s office launched a two-month campaign for the voluntary surrender of small arms and light weapons in the Acholi Sub Region under the theme ‘’Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2030.’’
Brigadier General Bonny Bamwiseki, the UPDF Fourth Division Commander notes that it is key for security to monitor border security in order to eradicate illegal possession of firearms. A voluntary disarmament exercise conducted in the Karamojong saw more than 90,000 recovered.
Local leaders in the area, say that some of those illegally possessing the weapons could have crossed to the neighbouring South Sudan and Kenya with their weapons. Col. Chris Bagambe, the UPDF Peace Advisor and team leader of the disarmament program in the Internal Affairs Ministry, says that they are engaging all stakeholders to seek the best methods of wiping out illegal firearms and preventing gun violence in the country.
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