MARCH 9, 2010: Army Told to Account For Guns In Teso

Army Told to Account for Guns in Teso
SOURCE: New Vision

By Simon Naulele

Kampala — The army should account for the guns they gave to the Arrow Boys during the Lord's Resistance Army war in Teso, the Amuria district LC5 chairperson, Julius Ochen, has said.

He said the guns were being used by the former Arrow militias to settle land and sex disputes.

"We are asking for the accountability of the guns given to the Arrow Boys, because during the 2006 elections, they were used to terrorise civilians," Ochen said.
He said many guns had not been returned by the people who helped to flush Kony out of Teso.

Over 300 guns have been recovered from the region since the army launched a disarmament operation code-named, 'Restore Hope in Teso'. Ochen said the illegal guns might be used against other people in the coming elections.

He said if they are not removed, the killings which have been taking place in the villages will be blamed on the Government.

Ochen made the remarks on Saturday during the UPDF recruitment mobilisation meeting at Soroti Lukiko Hall.

The meeting, chaired by the UPDF 3rd Division commander, Brig. Patrick Kankiriho, was aimed at briefing the district civil and political leaders on the intended exercise so that they can mobilise their people.

"The Government should build the trust of the public by ensuring that those who were given guns return them," he said.

Kankiriho said whoever has illegal guns in Teso is a criminal. "We no longer have Arrow Boys," he said.

He said the people allowed to carry guns are the UPDF, Prisons, Police and the Uganda Wildlife Authority as well as other licensed companies like security firms.

Kankiriho asked the leadership in Teso to put aside their differences and unite on matters of security.