By Albert Tumwine
An intelligence and counter-terrorism team from the elite Special Forces Command (working in coordination with both 4th and 5th Division Headquarters of the UPDF as well as the Uganda Police) over the weekend recovered one AK-47 assault rifle, military uniforms and several unexploded ordinances in a clandestine operation in the districts of Pader, Otuke, Lira and Soroti.
The operation, which was conducted from Saturday 7th October to Monday (Independence Day), was coordinated by a special reconnaissance unit under the office of the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations (SPA/SO).
Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, formerly the commander of the Special Forces Command, was appointed the SPA/SO in January 2017.
In a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer SPA/SO Major Chris Magezi “one rusty AK-47 sub-machine gun, which had been buried in the ground, was recovered in Soroti from the home of one Orioko Jasper, a resident of Amen A Parish in Soroti County”.
The statement adds further that one pair of military uniform was later recovered in Nakatunya Sub County also in Soroti.
“In Pajule Sub County in Pader, two Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and a hand grenade, were found hidden in an anthill, they were recovered and destroyed by explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) experts who were part of the operation,” said Major Magezi in the statement dated October 10.
The stament adds that, another two 60mm mortar bombs were recovered and destroyed in Olilim Trading Centre, in Otuke. Two pairs of military uniform were also found with one Okeng Patrick of Adwari Sub- County also in Otuke.
The army, for two decades, battled the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency in Northern Uganda and parts of Teso region until the latter’s total defeat in 2006.
According to Major Magezi, the region is now suspected to be awash with countless illegal guns and explosives, which pose a significant security threat to the population.
“The citizens (wanainchi) in the formerly conflict affected areas are urged to be more vigilant and report to the authorities illegal weapons and explosives they come across which have the potential to be exploited by terrorists and other criminals”.