Kampala. The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) will on Friday pass out more than 6,000 Local Defence Unit (LDU) recruits who have completed a four-month military training course at Kaweweta Military School in Nakaseke District.
UPDF recruited 6,400 LDUs in two phases in October last year on the directive of President Museveni to back the army and police in providing security following a rise in violent crime. The spokesperson of the UPDF Land Forces, Lt Col Henry Obbo, confirmed the pass out but declined to specify the number of recruits that have completed the training.
“Why do you want me to pre-empt the event? I cannot pre-empt the event that is left with only two days. You will get those details. Wait for those remaining days,” Lt Col Obbo said.
Between December and January, media reports indicated that more than 100 LDU recruits had escaped from the military school because of intense training. Other reports indicated that close to 100 recruits had been sent home after their health deteriorated. However, the UPDF dismissed the reports.
“I can’t tell you how many we are going to pass out. What if some drop out before Friday? And I cannot talk about H.E’s [President Museveni] movement. But I would advise you to wait for that day,” Lt Col Obbo said.
The army suspended the recruitment exercise until those on training have been passed out and absorbed in different urban areas.
Among the crimes that prompted President Museveni to order for the LDU recruitment was the shooting dead of former Buyende District Police Commander Muhammad Kirumira on September 8 last year and that of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga on June 8 in Kawanda, Wakiso District. At least 100 cases of kidnaps, including that of Susan Magara, were registered countrywide last year.