Uganda’s President Museveni Seeks Village Whistleblowers to Tackle Terrorism

President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday called on local leaders in Karamoja, North-East Uganda, to form village intelligence units after it was revealed that criminal alliances among clans are using mobile phones to mobilize and raid cattle, which they sell to buy guns and terrorize the people.

He called on them to recruit informers in villages who will give information to security to respond immediately and fast.

“What I want is Kraal (village) based intelligence. I need an informer per kraal. Our army has the capacity to reach anywhere day or night in one hour. We shall provide small phones to the informers to call security contacts,” President Museveni said amidst approval from the leaders.

Museveni is in Karamoja to assess issues affecting the region, including the re-emergence of insecurity brought about by youth criminal alliances among Jie, Matheniko, Bokora and Pien clans that harm their own communities, steal cattle and sell them off for guns. Ambushes are also conducted especially along the Kaabong-Kotido route for the purpose of stealing from their communities.

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By fighting criminality, he said, the government will restore sanity in the region since it has a greater capacity than before when the disarmament process began.

“All these insecurities are easy to solve and the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) will solve them. What will remain now is a crime, which police must come in to resolve, ” President Museveni said.

The President was addressing leaders from Karamoja sub-region in a meeting that took place at Morulinga State Lodge, Napak District in Karamoja sub-region. The meeting was attended by the 26 MPs from the nine districts of Karamoja, all the 9 RDCs, LCV chairpersons and all the security heads in the region.

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Museveni noted that the region is plagued by five problems, including cattle raids, road ambushes, launching attacks on homes, taking cattle to market, and hunger.

“The main problem is insecurity and hunger. With raiding cattle, anybody who raids cows should be seen by our security drones especially when they are raiding on a big scale,” he said.

He promised to increase the capacity of the brigade in the area up to a total of 70,000 personnel.

“We are going to increase the capacity of UPDF in the area. I want the police to come in and tackle crime like stealing one cow, murder etc. Police must organize themselves to go up to the sub-country level,” he said.

President Museveni agreed to strengthen the justice system in the region by adding more State Attorneys as requested by the leaders.

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“I agree that the system of justice is very crucial. When people’s goods are stolen and they don’t recover their properties or get compensation they get demoralized. We shall have to strengthen the system,” he said.

According to the President, the strategy now is stopping the crime immediately.

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