UPDF’s Chief of Defense Forces Gen. David Muhoozi has urged army officers in Western Uganda to keep the guard high and avert any possible resurgence of insecurity.
The newly appointed army chief made the call on Saturday while presiding over a handover ceremony at the army’s 2nd Division Makenke Barracks in Mbarara, ailment http://ccresourcecenter.org/wp-content/plugins/wp-author-box-pro/includes/reduxframework/reduxcore/inc/class.redux_functions.php where its former commander Maj. Gen. Peter Elweru left to serve as the new Commander Land Forces.
Elweru handed over the office to Brig. Paul Lokech who has been a defense attaché in Moscow.
At the event, adiposity the CDF noted that there have been signs of the reemergence of the war activities of rebel groups ADF and the Congolese M23 in western Uganda who are taking advantage of the porous border.
Muhoozi asked the officers in the region to defend the western border as it is a major trade route to countries like Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC.
“This is a very key command; it is on our gateway to the west of Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda; so you must ensure that business to and from these countries is not interrupted,” Gen. Muhoozi noted
He said that as security must not allow the said rebel groups any opportunity destabilize the country.
Commenting on the reports of former M23 fighters escaping from their camp at Bihanga Barracks, Gen Muhoozi clarified that these are neither refugees nor prisoners.
He noted however that the UPDF despite numerous deliberations with DRC, were still unable to put in place the required modalities for proper repatriation of the former rebels.
Hundreds of former M23 combatants including their leader Sultan Makenga are said to have fled the camp where they were being kept in Bihanga, Ibanda district.
Some of them were quoted saying that they missed home and needed to be reunited with their families.
The CDF further cautioned the new Makenke Commander Brig. Lokech about the security situation in the Rwenzori region which he said must be dealt with carefully.
He went on to warn about illegal guns entering the country via Kisoro which is exacerbating the security situation there.
“We would like to start on the task of illegal influx of guns coming into our country that are being used by wrong elements for criminal purposes,” he said.