Embattled security force, the Local Defence Unit (LDU) are set to be redeployed after completing a two -week refresher course at the Kakiri Military Barracks, the UPDF has said.
In a press statement released today, the new army spokesperson, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso says, “following the withdraw of the LDU personnel, several incidents of criminality have increased especially at night.”
She says that several local leaders and the general public have complained about the increasing insecurity cases happening in the local communities and as a result, they asked the security leaders to re-engage LDU personnel in order to contain the situation.
Following in depth consultations with security stake holders, we have agreed that LDUs who have undergone and completed their training resume operations only at night in support of the Uganda Police Force to curtail criminal activities,” Brig.Byekwaso said in a statement.
For a very long time, LDUs have been accused of conducting self-initiated operations where they have caused alot of brutality and suffering to the masses.
The army spokesperson says that LDU personnel will only participate in intelligence led operations on specific targets on request and only with the support of Uganda Police Force.
“Members of the Local Defence Force shall not participate in daytime enforcement of COVID-19 directives outlined by the Ministry of health and the head of state.”
The army spokesperson however asked members of the public to cooperate well with the LDU personnel to help fight criminality.
A total of 10 Local Defence Unit battalions were two weeks ago recalled from the field for a refresher course training at Kakiri Military Barracks after several incidents of human right abuses by the personnel.
The personnel had been involved in several incidents of shooting, robbery, torture and unlawful arrest of members of the public prompting complaints.
The most prominent was the brutality imposed on former Makerere University student Emmanuel Tegu who died as result of the LDU brutality.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic saw the LDU personnel brutalise several members of the public while enforcing the presidential guidelines on combatting the spread of the virus. This prompted many to petition for withdraw of the LDU personnel from the community.