UPDF commander of Land Forces, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Keinerugaba, has said the joint security operations to end violence in Karamoja Sub-region will not cease whatsoever until the communities end acts of criminality.
This follows a statement the UPDF issued on Tuesday indicating that the ongoing security operations in Karamoja Sub-region have registered huge achievements with 309 warriors “put out of action” and 17,186 livestock recovered in a period of 8 months.
In July 2021, UPDF launched “Operation Usalama Kwa Wote” in Karamoja Sub-region with joint forces of the army and police deployed in the area to maintain peace and security.
Recently, the army stepped up operations in the region following a spate of violence including the killing of 3 Geologists and 2 Special Forces Command (SFC) soldiers in Moroto District on 21st March 2022.
The statement issued on 29, 2022, also showed that UPDF killed 20 warriors in the last 10 days (19th – 29th March 2022), 04 guns and 47 rounds of live ammunition recovered, 39 warriors arrested and 776 livestock recovered.
In a response on Twitter to public concerns the 309 killed by the army are many, Gen Muhoozi Keinerugaba said the number will continue to rise if the rustlers do not drop the practice of stealing cows.
“No, this is a small number @Gilespies. We have killed a lot more cattle thieves since last year. And we shall continue eliminating them until they completely lose the appetite for this industry. God bless UPDF! God bless Uganda!” Gen Muhoozi posted.
Following the gruesome incident of March 21, 2022, which the army attributed to Turkana herders who had crossed to Uganda in search of pastures, Gen Muhoozi made a stern warning that retribution was inevitable if the killers do not hand themselves in.
“Karimojong criminals killed my soldiers in cold blood! There will be hell to pay for that!! If they want to avoid retribution they better get in touch with our RDCs and commanders in the region NOW!! Otherwise, let us see who the real men are!” Gen Muhoozi Tweeted on 23 March 2022.
“My Karimojong brothers! We have begged you to stop the life of robbery and violence. We have begged you to stop attacking your neighbors but to no avail! You have refused all our appeals! Well, now we are coming and hell is coming with us!” He added.
According to Defense Spokesperson Felix Kulayigye, 184 guns and 2,352 rounds of live ammunition have since been recovered, 1,792 warriors have been arrested and 17,186 livestock recovered. During the same period, 360 warriors have been prosecuted for related charges -according to UPDF.