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The joint security forces of Uganda People's Defence Forces and Uganda Police who are currently carrying out a disarmament exercise in Karamoja, have now started forceful disarmament after three-month grace ended.

The grace period for voluntarily handing of exercise elapsed on October 17 with the army and police recovering only 97 guns.

So far at least 60 cattle rustlers who are allegedly hiding guns have been arrested since the new operations approach started last week.

On July 17, 2021 the UPDF and Police launched a joint disarmament exercise which was widely voluntarily where the rustlers freely handed over their guns without facing charges of unlawful possession of fire arms. Those who handed over their guns were given certificates for identification.

Mr Micheal Longole, the Karamoja Regional Police Spokesperson told Daily Monitor on Sunday that they have arrested 60 suspected rustlers who are currently undergoing screening before facing charges of illegal possession of firearms.

He said under the new approach there's no more pleading to rustlers to hand over guns. 

"We have run short of patience for these rustlers because we have been calling on them to hand over guns but they have refused, and they have continued disturbing the region so we must now deal with them properly," he said.

Despite the presence of heavy armed soldiers and police in the region, the rustlers have continued causing havoc.

On Sunday night, rustlers undressed women and looted food stuffs in Nawet village, Nasinyonoit parish in Lorengedwat sub county in Nabilatuk District.

Mr Milton Odongo, the Nabilatuk Resident District Commissioner said peaceful disarmament has failed to yield results, thus forceful disarmament would work better.  By Steven Ariong, Daily Monitor

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