BY FEDERICK DRAMADRI
ZOMBO: THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2021
A total of 14 people belonging to the rebel outfit, the Homeland Liberation Movement, who recently denounced rebellion and came home from training camps in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been resettled in Zombo district.
Lt. Col. Emmy Katabazi, Deputy Director General internal security organization (ISO) met the returnees at the district headquarters and presented each of them with hoes to go and start a new life as farmers.
He implored the local leaderships of Zombo and Nebbi districts to provide conducive environment and call back the rest of the young people who joined the rebel group.
He was accompanied by Maj. Martha Asiimwe, the head of Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) in the office of the President who warned that not much has been achieved through routine security reports received from the districts.
“We no longer trust the bureaucracy. We are tired of your quarterly and monthly reports which do not give a very good feedback,” she said, wondering if the officers want the Kampala team to be the one to come on ground to do things.
But the local leaders told the intelligence chief that government should prioritize improving securing along the Uganda-DR Congo border and end attacks such as the one on a UPDF detach that left on soldier and four rebels dead.
The district leaders comprising the Resident District Commissioners (RDC), the District councilors, the Sub-county chairpersons and the Internal Security officers from sub-counties complained of inadequate personnel, transport challenges and poor infrastructure contributing to failed attempts in tracing the rebels.
Robert Abak, the Nebbi RDC, revealed that during the first attack on the detach and even the second, it was so difficult for them to pursue the rebels due to limited personnel and that traversing the over 86 kilometres porous border points on foot affected their surveillance.
“The personnel we have on ground, the UPDF and police and the GISOs, are very thin but we have porous border whose stretch is about 86km, with only two gazetted border points. You find it hard to trace these rebels as people equally cross through the porous un-gazetted points,” the RDC said.
The Nebbi district LC5 chairman, Emmanuel Orombi called for the recruitment of at least 2,000 officers under the Local Defense Unit (LDU) and equipping of political leaders with military skills.
Lt. Katabazi promised that the government will provide all the security officers with motorcycles and fuel to facilitate their surveillance work.
“Those without Vehicles and motorcycles, starting from next month, the office of the President will provide you with motorcycles. All of you will get sh150,000 for fuel and operations every month and additional money for mobilization against Covid-19 for three months,” he said.
However Lawrence Songa, the Ora County Member of Parliament, told the security officers that government needs to increase funding to community development Projects to keep the young people busy so that their minds are not diverted to rebellious activities.
“Many young people have being lured into rebel activities just because they do not have where to earn from, and in this they end up grabbing people’s property,” he said.