ADJUMANI. The Uganda police force annual crime report of 2018 indicates that the greater West Nile region is among the leading regions in illegal gun recovery in the country.
According to the report that was published in May this year, a total of 167 firearms and 2,284 rounds of ammunition were recovered in 2018 following various operations against criminal activities throughout the country.
The report also indicates that at least 39 guns and 153 rounds of ammunition were recovered in Kampala metropolitan East followed by Aswa region with 24 guns and 654 rounds of ammunition recovered and in Kigezi region, 16 guns and 291 rounds of ammunition were recovered.
Meanwhile, in the greater West Nile region, 14 guns and 382 rounds of ammunition were recovered with 9 from West Nile and 5 from North West Nile region.
Under police administration, West Nile region was divided into two regions with West Nile region comprising of Pakwach, Nebbi, Zombo, Arua, Madi Okollo Koboko and Maracha with headquarters in Arua while Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani and Obongi are under North West Nile with headquarters in Moyo district.
The report has however not indicated whether the guns were from other countries or from within the country and stolen from security agencies.
Ms Betty Kyakunzire, the legal officer national focal point on small arms and light weapons (NFP/SALW) from the Ministry of Internal Affairs said the purpose of their campaign is to educate communities especially at the borders with South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo that have high chances of firearms and ammunitions penetrating through the porous borders.
She said the campaign by the Ministry of Internal Affairs is to eliminate the circulation of small arms and ammunitions in the region by disseminating information about the existence of government policy on firearms and ammunitions of 2010.
The current policy on small firearms replaced the 1970 policy that has come with a lot of changes which include obtaining training and being satisfied before applying for a gun from government, undergo medical checkups and properly examined among others.
The presence of refugees in the region coupled with long porous borders and insecurity filled South Sudan have however complicated matters as small arms proliferation along the border continues uncontrolled.
Mr Dominic Idro, the Adjumani district speaker told journalist after the meeting that although no guns were recovered in the district, it does not rule out the fact that there are no illegal guns in the area.