We are back; LDUs Redeployed to fight night time Criminality

Niwandinda Daniel
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Local Defense Unit–LDU personnel who recently completed refresher training have been authorized to return to duty, but Uganda People’s Defense Forces –UPDF insists their work is only at night.

The LDUs who were withdrawn from enforcing the Presidential guideline on COVID-19 due to their high handedness will not be allowed carryout daytime security operations.

Defense Ministry Spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso says in a statement that although LDUs who have completed a fresher training are going to be redeployed, their role is restricted to strengthening night operations to curb crime.

However, they will also participate in intelligence led operations on specific targets on request and support of Uganda Police Force. “The LDUs shall not participate in daytime enforcement of Covid19 directives outlined by Ministry of Health and head of state,” she wrote.

During their short reign, more than 10 people were killed by LDUs and other security operatives during enforcement of Covid19 preventive directives and guidelines. Other people including political leaders were humiliated and injured, causing a public outcry that led to their withdrawal from all security operations.

More than 6000 LDUs were withdrawn from Kampala and taken to Kakiri army barracks for refresher training. The training was majorly on crowd control, firearm handling and human rights observance. Maj. Gen Leopold Kyanda, who is also the Chief of Staff Land Forces, urged LDUs to work towards being citizens with reputable images last week.

Now, the newly appointed UPDF Spokesperson Brig Byekwaso argues that several local leaders and members of the general public have been complaining that the withdrawal of LDUs has seen an increase in criminal activities particularly during night hours.

“Owing to the withdraw of LDUs from active operations to go back for refresher training, the level of criminality has since increased especially during the night. Severally, local leaders and the general public have petitioned security leaders to re-engage them in order to contain the situation,” Byekwaso said

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