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UPDF makes changes in the 3rd infantry division, swaps command

By Olandason Wanyama

Added 10th January 2020 03:11 PM

The new command for the army 3rd division area of responsibility, which oversees Karamoja, among other districts in eastern Uganda, is now headed by Brig. Joseph Balikudembe, a seasonal commander in the sub-region.

UPDF makes changes in the 3rd infantry division, swaps command

Brig. Joseph Balikudembe, the deputy 3rd division seasonal commander. Photo by Olandason Wanyama

The new command for the army 3rd division area of responsibility, which oversees Karamoja, among other districts in eastern Uganda, is now headed by Brig. Joseph Balikudembe, a seasonal commander in the sub-region.

UPDF
 
The Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces (UPDF) leadership last year made changes in its army 3rd infantry division by swapping commanders in the second authority.
 
The new command for the army 3rd division area of responsibility, which oversees Karamoja, among other districts in eastern Uganda, is now headed by Brig. Joseph Balikudembe, a seasonal commander in the sub-region.
 
He replaced Brig. Julius Biryabarema, who was transferred to Kakiri 1st division headquarters as second in command from Moroto. The switch of offices surfaced barely three months after he replaced Col. Moses Kwikiriza, who now heads the Alpine division in the Rwenzori mountains.
 
Balikudembe has over the years worked in Karamoja as brigade, including a battalion commander, both as 3rd divisions' intelligence officer and administrative officer.
 
Today he returns as second in command of Uganda's best infantry division.
 
The divisions' public relations officer, Maj. Telesphar Turyamumanya, when contacted, said the changes are normal routine in the UPDF.
 
The changes come at a time when Karamoja is mourning the death of  Dan Majorie Loyomo, who was the former LC3 chairperson of Rupa sub-county in Moroto district.
 
The deceased was shot dead by a yet to be identified UPDF soldier inside Kidepo army detachment in Rupa sub-county, Moroto district.
 
However, his body is still stuck with the army two weeks into his death after the UPDF offered to keep the body overnight to allow the family prepare for burial the next day.In a twist of events, the family abandoned the body with the army, demanding compensation to cater for the over 50 children that the deceased left behind.
 
Armed raids
Apparently, due to re-armament by the locals, armed raids are the order of the day in the region that has enjoyed almost a decade of prevailing peace.
 
However, Turyamumanya said the army has placed strategic interventions into the escalating raids in the sub-region. He identified one of them as intensified dialogues with the kraal leaders and the teens so as to engage in sessions that could lead to change of behaviour.
 
He said the army has also reinforced boots on ground to handle the stubborn rustlers, urging them to surrender the illegal arms or else risk prosecution.
 
Meanwhile, the UPDF last year shot dead another four suspected rustlers in two separate incidences in Moroto district.
 
The army recovered one AK47 after a fierce fight after Kambizzi in Moroto Municipality.
 
In Rupa Parish, the UPDF killed two raiders and recovered bows and arrows, but because of being a huge number of rustlers the UPDF could not recover an estimated over 60 heads of cattle that disappeared into Kenya's Turkana county.
 
The UPDF intelligence intimated to the New Vision that over 100 rustlers suspected to be Jie from Kotido district pitched camp in the Moroto jungles last year to steal animals. But because of the tight security, the rustlers failed to strike several kraals as planned.

 

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