The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs Vicent Ssempija Bamulangaki commended Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces for restoring Peace and Security in the Karamoja sub-region.
"I salute UPDF for recovering guns from warriors and bringing back stolen cattle to rightful owners,” the minister said while meeting officials from different sectors at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran’s Affairs headquarters in Mbuya.
The Wednesday meeting was intended to create solutions for sustainable security and development in the region, according to the UPDF spokesperson Brig. Flavia Byekwaso.
According to the minister, the launch of the disarmament operation code-named “Usalama Kwa Wote" has helped the government recover many illegal guns which, in turn, has improved the security and stability in the region.
He also stressed the need to transform the region into one of the economic booming regions in Uganda by improving the livelihood of people through Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), disarmament, Parish Development Model (PDM) and other government programs.
The Minister for Karamoja Affairs Dr. Maria Goretti Kimono Kitutu, in her presentation, said there is a need to strengthen regional integration and cooperation as a means of addressing cross-border raids, conflict and illicit arms trafficking and facilitate cross-border trade.
She noted that there is a need to review and make efficient the current service delivery mechanisms to ensure they are fast and relevant like prioritizing the Karamoja region for infrastructure development programs under Health, Education, Works, Water and Agriculture sectors among others.
Dr. Kitutu also revealed that Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) should be strengthened.
“It is our historical mission to transform Uganda from a subsistence economy to a modern, peaceful, industrial and transformed society by unlocking Karamoja’s vast potential in order to beacon a new era in its history as we move towards Vision 2040," she said.
The Chief of Defence Forces Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi rooted for mindset change because of the Karimajong’s cultural, traditional and geographical location.
He also thanked the leaders of Operation Wealth Creation for the role played in transforming the Karamoja region and the whole country at large.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of State for Defence in charge of General Duties Jacob Marksons Oboth, Minister of State for Defence in charge of Veteran Affairs, State Minister for Ethics and Integrity Rose Akello, Chief Coordinator Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Abel Akandwanaho alias Gen Salim Saleh, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Rosette Byengoma, Chairperson National Planning Authority Mrs Pamera, UPDF Joint Chief of Staff Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda, Chief Political Commissar Maj Gen Henry Matsiko, Members of Parliament from Karamoja region, officials from Operation Wealth Creation, Senior officers of UPDF, among others.