Reports of widespread human rights abuses are filtering out of the Karamoja sub-region of Uganda. The accusations of rape, “extra-judicial” killings and terror surround the Uganda Peoples Defence Force’s (UDF) disarmament exercise. “Ultimately, what would be the final solution to this problem of armed cattle rustling?” embedded allafrica.com reporter Risdel Kasasira [carefully] asks Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, Uganda’s Chief of Defence Forces . . .
I can say: take away the gun, take away the gun and take away the gun from the region. If there is no gun, there will be peace. Naturally, what follows peace is development because peace is a permanent ally of development. No gun means development. Less guns means more children going to school, it means business and investment in the area. Government is not doing disarmament alone, there are other programmes going on. What I can guarantee Ugandans is that UPDF efforts in the region to bring peace are irreversible. If we had not been delayed by the Lord’s Resistance Army, if we had not been delayed by UPA of Peter Otai, if we had not been delayed by Alice Lakwena and ADF — all supported externally, the remaining guns in Karamoja would have been taken away.