By Vision Reporter
AT least 124 guns have been recovered from the districts of Napak, Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Moroto as well as parts of Teso, Bugisu and Sebei.
Also recovered were 1,600 bullets and military gear.
UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson Lt. Jimmy Omara said they were recovering fewer guns than in the past when over 400 guns would be recovered within a month in just four districts.
He said there had been tremendous improvement in security, adding that the rampant killings that characterised the past were now history.
“In Karamoja today, several months pass without any gun-related death,” Omara said.
The guns were mainly recovered from suspected cattle rustlers during fighting as well cordon-and-search operations carried out in the sub-region.
At least 16 suspected rustlers who fought with the UPDF over the same period of time were also killed.
The UPDF also lost two soldiers, while eight sustained injuries during fighting in Karamoja.
A total of 1,058 head of stolen cattle in Karamoja were also returned to their rightful owners during the same period of time.
A few cattle stolen from the districts of Katakwi and Amuria were also recovered and handed back to the owners. According to reports, another 260 cattle in the sub-region are still missing.
Omara disclosed that the district of Nakapiripirit has the highest number of people with illegal firearms.
Meanwhile, Godfrey Aluma, the Nakapiripirit resident district commissioner (RDC), has expressed concern over the high level of crime in Nabilatuk and Lolachat sub-counties.
“The two areas are awash with guns and the trend of cattle theft is worrying,” he said.
Aluma blamed the thefts on political leaders who do not tell their people the truth about the illegal possession of guns. Aluma advised local leaders to stop misguiding the public in order to get votes insisting that the security team will make sure that illegal guns are collected.
Moroto RDC Nahaman Ojwee said the activities of disarmament in Karamoja are just a mop up. “What remains is to consolidate the prevailing peace so that people can carry on with their economic activities,” he noted.
Since the beginning of the disarmament exercise in 2001, the UPDF has collected 31,892 guns and over 20,000 bullets.