By David Okema
Two months gone into the military training of newly recruited Local Defense Unit [LDUs] under 4th Division in Gulu, they have now entered into shooting exercise phase as deployment looms early next year.
The training is taking place at Lugore training wing in Palaro sub-county, approximately 35 kilometers north of Gulu town.
According to Major Caeser Otim Olweny, the 4th Division army spokesperson, the range exercise (target shoot out) is running for three days from November 29th to December 1st, 2018.
He warns locals of Palaro, particularly Lugore to cease trekking the bushes on the northwestern side of the training wing to avoid receiving bullets, leading to accident.
“The over 1,000 Local Defense Unit (LDU) recruits undergoing training at the military base in Gulu district on Wednesday started shooting drills as their pass out draws closer,” he says.
He also cautioned locals not to panic when they hear the sounds of heavy gunshots during this time of the drills.
“When you hear the gunshots, don’t get scared, there is nothing wrong, that is the normal exercise and its part of the ongoing training. And the people living in the area who may be looking for firewood, charcoal, and hunting, we request that they should not get closer to the site to avoid being casualties,” Maj Olweny warned.
Prior to the range exercise, Major Olweny noted that local leaders in the level of LC I, LC II and LC III of Palaro and neighboring sub-counties were given letters to notify their subjects about the exercise.
4th Infantry Division recruited 1,200 personnel but Major Olweny said few unconfirmed number of recruits escaped, and the rest have been moving on so well with the military training for the past two months.
Mr. Olweny says deployment has been set for January, 2019.
In September this year, after a number of series of murder incidents involving prominent figures in government, including Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga, former Buyende district Police Commander, Mohammed Kirumira, among others; President Museveni issued a directive to the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), Gen. David Muhoozi to recruit 24,000 LDUs to backup the current security forces in the country.
The 24,000 local security personnel were to be trained to help man security in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts. However, it was soon extended to other parts of the country.
Then, the president termed killers of elite Ugandans and those threatening his regime resolve as ‘fools, pigs’, among many names.