BY MUBARAK HASSAN MUHENDA.
Three firearms were forcefully retrieved in South Karamoja Namoni Aloris Village in Kosike subcounty Nabilatuk district after an un successful theft of 94 goats and sheep on the night of 23rd August, 2023.
In reaction to this, the police went a head to conduct an organized operation to retrieve firearms from armed criminals in Alakasa plus Nakabaat according to IP and Public Relations Officer Longole Mike Mt. Moroto.
“Security forces conducted an organized operation to retrieve arms from armed criminals in Alakas (Amudat) and Nakabaat (Moroto) areas. The operation proved successful, resulting in the recovery of three firearms,” Longole explained.
Despite the ongoing campaign of voluntarily giving in back the guns to authorities in the region that was initiated by the President Yoweri Museveni, such incidents weaken it since these cannot be the only guns but more still being had in the region.
It should be noted that this initiative has only been effective in the North or Karamoja but not the southern according to reports by the Police in the region.
North Karamoja, including Kotido, Kaabong, Karenga, and Abim, has witnessed positive outcomes with Karamojong youth (Karacunas) voluntarily surrendering arms while Moroto, Napak, Amudat, and Nakapiripirit continue to face challenges in embracing the presidential amnesty, leading to isolated incidents such as cattle thefts, notably between Pokot (Amudat) and Pian (Nabilatuk, Nakapiripirit).
The retrieved guns were forcefully got from unidentified warriors through a chain of search operation in Nakabat village, Rupa Subcounty, Moroto District.
It should be known that guns and Karamoja are like 5 & 6 for they have lasted since the early 2000s even before the presidential initiative of voluntarily surrendering in guns as f as those Karamoja warriors are concerned.
In 2005 900 guns were forcefully retrieved of which the operation had lasted from 2004’s September where over 100 suspects were apprehended through it the whole operation according to reports.
In 2002, the government of Uganda had launched a disarmament operation in the region with an aim to recover 40,000 arms, this campaign was interrupted by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army and the government army only recovered over 10,000 weapons between 2002 and early 2003.
Gun number 50292 with 5 rounds, gun number 38110 with 0 rounds and an SMG rifle with registration number 11253 and 5 rounds was forcefully recovered from Tingaz village in Alakas, Amudat District.
IP Longole urged Karacunas in the Southern region to embrace the presidential amnesty by voluntarily surrendering in firearms to authorities with no fear of being prosecuted.
April Last year, a pile of guns which had been retrieved from all the nine districts of Karamoja by then between 2018 and 2022 were burnt by the security forces in Kotido airstrip.
But where does government put the recovered or retrieved guns put after being got from Karamoja warriors?