Posted on9 July, 2018 | 05:20

UPDF Warns ADF as 2,000 LDUs Get Military Skills in Kasese

The Ugandan military has embarked on a massive recruitment of Local Defence Units (LDUs) to serve as auxiliary forces in the western part of the country in a move officials say is aimed at countering a possible attack by a rebel movement from Eastern Congo.

The Ugandan military has embarked on a massive recruitment of Local Defence Units (LDUs) to serve as auxiliary forces in the western part of the country in a move officials say is aimed at countering a possible attack by a rebel movement from Eastern Congo.

“There are negative forces in Eastern DRC which want to come and destabilise the peace Ugandans are enjoying,” said the UPDF Commander Land Forces (CLF) Maj Gen Peter Elwelu.

“Those groups are being monitored and will be dealt with accordingly,” he assured.

Elwelu was speaking this past weekend during the pass-out ceremony of 1917 LDU personnel who have been undergoing vigorous basic military training for 16 weeks (four months) since the March 3, 2018 at Hima Kasese District.

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Elwelu addressing the crowd

Asked to shed more detail on the force planning to destabilize Uganda, Defence Spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire told us on Monday that Elwelu was referring to “Allied Democratic Forces.”

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The LDUs passed out by the military in Kasese

The UPDF late last year used long-range military capabilities and the Airforce to bomb ADF territory in Eastern DRC, killing hundreds of militants.

The force has in recent years split into several groups. Military officials say the remnants have been regrouping to plan fresh attacks.

It’s suspected the movement, whose Supreme Commander, Jamil Mukulu, is held at Luzira Prison on charges of murder and terrorism, is receiving logistical support from external funders.

Elwelu told the people of Kasese and the whole of western region in general that UPDF is “very determined to keep the country peaceful from both internal and foreign disturbances of any kind.”

Elwelu said security, protection of civilians and their properties are the top priorities for the Army.

He said LDUs will be working under the Director of Auxiliary Forces.
The General told the trainees that serving as a UPDF soldier or an LDU was no luxury but a sacrifice.

“You should be prepared for the tasks ahead and keep the areas peaceful wherever you are deployed,” he warned.

The LDUs, being natives of the area, were asked to help work closely with the communities and be able to arrest wrong elements before they even fire the first bullet.

Elwelu said UPDF has been in Central Africa Republic, DRC, Sudan and Somalia for the sake of peace and Pan Africanism and could therefore not fail to ensure stability back home.Of the 1917 LDUs, 30 of them were females.
Discipline

The Chief of Training and Recruitment Brig Willis Byarugaba cautioned the newly passed out LDUs against causing insecurity but instead promote security wherever they will be deployed.

Brig Kayanja Muhanga, the 2nd Division Commander, said the entire western region was now peaceful and that with the newly passed out LDUs, security would be strengthened further.

The commandant Hima military training school, Col. Jonathan Ochom told the newly passed out LDUs to maintain good discipline and also protect themselves from the deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

Officials said the LDUs were recruited from all districts of western Uganda and will work closely with the UPDF.

“Their main task will be to augment local security as UPDF deals with major operations,” a note issued by Karemire reads in part.

This confirms UPDF’s preparedness to conduct military operations in the region in the not-too-distant future.

President Museveni recently expressed determination to take action against militants across the Ugandan border.

Meanwhile, this was the second intake of LDUs – the first having been passed out in 2011 at the same training school.

Karemire explained that LDUs have done a commendable job in the different parts of the country alongside UPDF in stabilising the country.

Lango had Amuuka; Teso had the Arrow boys, Frontier guards in Kitgum and ASTU in Karamoja.

The function was attended by all Brigade Commanders under 2nd Division, the RDC Kasese, local leaders and parents of the Graduands.

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