A one- month firearms amnesty scheme in Gulu District that ended two months ago has proved fruitless as the implementing agency says that it has recovered no gun since the project was launched in March.
An elder from Bardege Parish who spoke to Acholi Times on condition of anonymity said that: “there was war in other parts of Uganda, have you heard of any scheme for people to surrender guns, why in Acholi? Why does government always think that Acholi only want war by hiding guns?” he asked.
Gulu Regional Police Commander claimed ignorance of the scheme which was expected to be headed by his office.
“I am still new in this office and nobody has briefed me about it since I came here,” he told Acholi Times.
Mr Johnson Kilama, the northern regional police spokesperson, said the army was better placed to comment on the number of firearms recovered, if any.
“We are using the law; if we find you with an illegal gun we arrest you,” Mr Kilama said, without quoting which law they were using.
Human rights experts have criticised the scheme, saying that the government wants to use the disarmament exercise as an excuse for militia presence in the north, once a war-torn region.
“They are looking for an excuse to redeploy the army in the north. It is not necessary to have a project on disarmament here as people are traumatised,” Mr Makmot Kibwanga, a Lira-based human right lawyer said.
“It will look as if they are trying to accuse the population of northern Uganda of harbouring ulterior motives to wage war. It will create more antagonism between the government and civilian population,” he added. By A Web design Company
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