The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) had established several detaches in the jungles of Acholi sub-region in its operations against the LRA rebels who were operating in the area.
But with the return of relative peace in the region, the locals are now demanding that the army leaves their land. Patrick Oryema, the Nwoya district Local Council Chairperson, says his office has received several complaints from the locals who want to reoccupy their land. He says most of the locals who approached him say they want to return to their homes following the relative peace but the army is preventing them by failing to vacate the land they acquired illegally during the two-decade insurgency.
Oryema say people are demanding that the army compensates them for having used their land illegally and also carryout demining in the areas where the military installations are.
But General Edward Katumba-Wamala, the new Chief of Defense Forces-CDF, warns that ordering the army to vacate the areas where they have installations may lead to resumption of the insurgency. Katumba urges local council officials in Acholi to convince the claimants to allow the UPDF to maintain the military detaches because of security reasons.
After 20 years of fighting a brutal war, the LRA retreated to Garamba National Park, an expansive and forested area that enables the rebels to roam between Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic.
Latest reports indicate that the LRA depend on poaching elephants for survival, as the UPDF and a few American Commandos continue looking for Joseph Kony and his fighters.