A total of 592 Local Defense Unit (LDU) personnel have completed training to bolster security and counter the menace posed by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in the Rwenzori Sub-region. The recruits underwent six weeks of basic military training at Hima Military Training School in Kitswamba Sub-County, Kasese District, and are now prepared for deployment in Kamwenge and Bunyangabu districts.
During the pass-out ceremony, Maj Gen James Birungi, commander of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, emphasized the vital role of the LDUs in augmenting the efforts of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) to combat terror attacks and restore peace in the region.
The recent rise in suspected ADF rebel attacks, resulting in 64 fatalities in Kamwenge and Kasese between June and December 2023, underscores the urgency of addressing the threat. Maj Gen Birungi highlighted the importance of community involvement in intelligence gathering, given the ADF’s use of small, elusive groups to perpetrate violence.
President Museveni’s directive in December mandated the recruitment, training, and deployment of LDUs to confront the rebels, focusing on specific districts bordering Kibale National Park. Lt Col Frank Kaheru, Commandant at Hima Training School, urged the newly graduated LDUs to uphold discipline and prioritize the fight against terrorism.
Mr. Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, commended the cooperation between security forces and local leaders in responding to recent rebel attacks, emphasizing the need for continued collaboration.