LDUs redeployed, to operate at night

Police Field Force Unit instructors training LDUs on how to use riot control equipment last month. PHOTO | COURTESY 

After three weeks off the streets, Local Defense Unit (LDU) personnel have returned for night patrol, the army confirmed on Tuesday.
According to a statement released by the army spokesperson Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso, several local leaders and the general public have petitioned security leaders to re-engage the LDUs following an exacerbation in crime following their withdrawal last month.
“Owing to the withdrawal of Local Defense Forces from active operations to go back to refresher training, the level of criminality has since increased especially during the night,” Brig Byekwaso said.
The LDUs were redeployed on Monday according to Brig Byekwaso.
Under the new arrangement, the LDU guards who have undergone re-training will operate only during the night to support police to curtail criminal activities.
“The members of the Local Defense Force shall not participate in daytime enforcement of Covid-19 directives outlined by the Ministry of Health and the head of State,” she said.
The LDUs, according to Brig Byekwaso, will also participate in “intelligence-led limited operations on specific targets” on request and in support of police.
“The public is therefore implored to cooperate and support these forces in this noble duty of ensuring that every Ugandan is safe and secure from any threat and all acts of criminality,” she said.
LDU personnel were last month withdrawn countrywide to undergo refresher training in human rights and law enforcement procedures.
The training was carried out by police.
Their withdrawal was sparked by numerous cases of brutality, torture and murder involving LDUs across the country.
There are more than 25,000 LDU recruits in the country.
Most of them were recruited two years ago following the increased wave of crime in various parts of the country.