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Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) has disclosed plans to construct modern armories across the country to ensure safe storage of its fire arms and stop the number of light weapons which end up in the hands of civilians.
The plan comes in the wake of recent killings across the country involving guns. Last month in Atiak Sub-county, Amuru District, a barmaid was shot by an army officer who had stolen his colleague’s gun. Last week in Kampala, senior State prosecutor Joan Kagezi was shot dead by men travelling on a motorcycle.
According to the army, the stores for the weapons are to be constructed within major army facilities such as division headquarters.
Lt Col Abdul Kasule from the Inspectorate of General Military Equipment last week noted that the army is sourcing financial support from its partners such as Britain so that modern gun storage facilities are put in place to keep guns before they land in the wrong hands.
“Our major priority is to keep firearms out of reach of individuals who want to use them to commit crimes,” said Col Kasule.
“Currently, some of the army officers are occupying grass-thatched houses which doesn’t guarantee safety for their weapons,” he added.
The plan follows the registration and marking of all small firearms and light weapons in northern Uganda by the UPDF in a move aimed at identifying illegal ones.
The exercise, which was held at the 4th Division Infantry headquarters in Gulu Town last Wednesday, involved engraving serial numbers and army signs on weapons.