Napak elders petition Museveni over increasing killings

Karimojong local defence Unit personnel line up to display their skills during their pass out ceremony at Olilim Army training school in Katakwi District last year. The security situation is deteriorating in the region despite the presence of LDUs and other security forces. PHOTO | STEVEN ARIONG

Elders in Napak District in Karamoja sub region in northeastern Uganda have petitioned President Museveni over ‘deteriorating security situation’ in Napak and Karamoja at large.

The three paged petitioned urges the president to spare some time and travel to Karamoja and meet them in order to forge a way forward to stop the daily attacks by armed warriors.

The elders also recommended disarmament of all the Karamoja local defense personnel whom they accused of misusing the guns as they hire them to criminals who are now distabilising the sub region.

In 2010 while campaigning in the region, Mr Museveni directed the recruitment of 2,400 Local Defense Unit (LDU) personnel in Karamoja to help consolidate the peace achieved by the security agencies in the region since the disarmament programme started in 2001.

The elders, however, claim that most of the guns being used for carrying out criminal activities like raids, are from the LDUs.

They also want the chairman of the General Court Martial, General Andrew Guti who hails from the sub region to be recalled to Karamoja to help deal with the situation.

On Saturday, hundreds of residents from three Sub Counties of Matany, Ngoleriet and Lotome in Napak District, held a peaceful demonstration against what they called continuous killings of residents and looting of their property by suspected armed warriors and accused security forces in the area of doing nothing.

The demonstration that paralyzed business activities in Napak District was meant to hand over the petition to the president through the Resident District Commissioner (RDC).

"We are no longer sleeping in our homes because we fear for our lives," John Longora, one of the demonstrators said.

Veronica Angolere, another resident said demonstrating was the only way left for them to express their disgruntlement with the current security situation in the region.

The situation was contained by Mr Francis Chemusto, the regional police commander South Karamoja, who told the demonstrators that the security personnel were doing their best to restore peace in the sub region.

Meanwhile the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen David Muhoozi, is scheduled to have a meeting with all the newly elected Members of Parliament and district chairpersons for Karamoja sub region to forge a way forward.

Brig Joseph Balukudembe, the 3rd division commander said the CDF will be in Karamoja on Wednesday on a routine visit.