EC Village Verification

Police in Koboko are holding an unidentified South Sudan national on charges of gun trafficking.

Earlier in the week, a group of three South Sudan nationals  were intercepted by authorities in the West Nile district of Koboko along the Uganda-DRC border, while in possession of guns believed to have been smuggled into the country, with intent to sell them on ‘black market’.

Addressing the press earlier today, police spokesperson Mr Fred Enanga said that the three accessed Uganda through unguarded border points, and that one had been shot, while his two colleagues escaped.

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“We are watching his health condition in hospital and when he is fine, he will help us establish whether their business of gun trafficking has just started or they have been doing it for some time,” Mr Enanga said adding, “we also want to know to whom  these men were selling the guns.”

According to Mr Enanga, two SMG rifles and a pistol were recovered from the suspects.

Last year, police embarked on the task of recovering guns possessed by civilians illegally, an undertaking they have taken into the New Year.

“The police flying squad last week managed to recover guns in the districts of Rakai, Rukunjiri and in the West Nile,” Mr Enanga said adding that a four guns and 612 rounds of ammunition have been recovered in police operations in the last one week. Five suspects have also been arrested.

Many of the guns have been stolen from policemen and private guards who are either killed first of beaten by thugs who later make off with their guns.

Last week a total of four policemen were attacked and their guns stolen, and one officer, Muzamir Masaba lost his life.

And, in a related development police today announced measures on how to protect the lives of their officers.

“All area commanders are to see to it that the lives of these officers are protected by ensuring that they are dropped to their respective work stations daily and picked up after duty, routine patrols to check on the officers have also been put in place,” Mr Enanga said.

Police also called upon its officers to attach strict importance to the issue of self defence which includes using weapons and weaponless skills in order to save their lives.

In another development, police has started recruitment of 36000 special police constables to help in next month’s polls.

According to Mr Enanga, these will be deployed for a maximum of two months after which they will return to their civilian duties.

Interestingly, this comes during the time when sections of the public are piling pressure on police to disband the newly recruited crime preventers, on accusations of ‘being unprofessional’.