NUP accuses UPDF of Karamoja killings

NUP secretary general, David Lewis Rubongoya 

What you need to know:

  • Lt Col Ronald Kakurungu, the UPDF deputy spokesperson in response, told Daily Monitor last evening that people should not go to places where the operations are happening or during a crossfire with the enemy.

Leaders of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party  yesterday accused the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) of being behind the killings and cattle rustling  happening in Karamoja Sub-region.

During their weekly press briefing, NUP leaders told journalists that the army has on several occasions raided villages in the name of fighting warriors.

“We have reports that many people have been killed by the army in Karamoja and the State is not coming out to explain why,” Mr David Lewis Rubongoya,  the NUP secretary general, said without quoting a particular incident or date.

Lt Col Ronald Kakurungu, the UPDF deputy spokesperson in response, told Daily Monitor last evening that people should not go to places where the operations are happening or during a crossfire with the enemy.

“In a crossfire you expect anything and anyone to die. But why would those so-called innocent civilians go to places where operations are happening if they are not criminals themselves? They should stay away,” Lt Col Kakurungu said.

Last month, the UPDF released a statement indicating that they have achieved on many fronts in their operations dubbed Usalama kwa wote which started in July 2021.

The Forces also noted that between March 19 and March 29, they had killed 20 warriors, recovered four guns and 47 bullets, arrested 39 warriors and recovered 776 livestock.

Also four UPDF soldiers and five civilians were killed by suspected warriors while  170 livestock were stolen.

During the press conference, Mr Anest Ayen, the Abim District youth chairman challenged the UPDF to show their commitment in protecting the people of Karamoja and their property.

“If they are really committed to protecting us and our property, why don’t they return the cows they recover from the rustlers to the original owners? There are many incidents when they work with the local leaders but when they enter the barracks, no civilian is allowed there,” Mr Ayen said.

“When the disarmament exercise started, UPDF promised to protect our cows, where did they go? Now they are coming out at this time when people have been killed, houses burnt to ashes and animals lost. That is not a committed spirit,” he added.

Lt Col Kakurungu said: “What is the purpose of recovering animals if we are not going to give them back to the owners? We get local leaders to identify the owners of the livestock and we give it back to the owners.”

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