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By Mulengera Reporter

After weeks of absence on the streets and in communities, the Local Defense Unit (LDU) personnel are set to return to work, Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) spokesperson Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso has announced.

But the LDUs, whose brutality was responsible for the death of about 10 people during operations to enforce Covid19 prevention measures, will only be allowed to work alongside the Uganda Police Force (UPF) officers during night operations. “The LDUs shall not participate in daytime enforcement of Covid19 directives outlined by Ministry of Health and head of state,” said Brig Gen Byekwaso in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Byekwaso also revealed that they had received petitions from Ugandans who wanted the LDUs to return after a rise in crime rate in communities while the auxiliary security outfit’s personnel were away for refresher training at Kakiri Army Barracks.

“Owing to the withdrawal 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,” the new spokesperson of the Ugandan army and the Ministry of Defence said.

The refresher course, attended by over 6,000 LDU personnel following public outcry over their brutality, focused on crowd control, firearm handling and human rights observance. Trainers included officers from the Field Force Unit (FFU), Deputy Commander Reserve Forces Maj Gen Stephen Rwabantu, UPDF Chief Political Commissar Maj Gen Henry Matsiko and Brig Gen Byekwaso.

When he visited them last week, Chief of Staff of Land Forces Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda told the LDUs: “In the UPDF, we have no space for any form of indiscipline. There is no amount of indiscipline that is small to us. A mere abusive language or annoying gesture to the civilians is too grave an act to do. You must work towards correcting these mistakes as you conduct your operations.”

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