The commander of the Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre (URDCC), Brig. Paul Lokech, has called on the Acholi community to sustain the prevailing peace in the region so that development and prosperity can take root.
“It is time to reflect on our past. It is time for joy. No one ever thought peace would prevail in this region. I thank you for your participation in all the peace initiatives,” Lokech said.
He made the remarks in Lamwo district on Friday during the launch of the civil military activities to commemorate the 38th Tarehe Sita anniversary celebrations. For over 20 years, Acholi region was bedeviled by brutal rebellion by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which caused lot of suffering in the community. Since the LRA was defeated and driven out of Uganda to South Sudan and then to Central African Republic, there has been peace in the region.
Lokech commended President Yoweri Museveni for bringing back sanity to northern Uganda. The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Eng. Hillary Onek, who presided over the launch of the renovation of Padibe Health Centre IV in Lamwo district, hailed Museveni for his visionary leadership, which enabled him build a disciplined and professional force the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) that has managed to pacify the whole country.
Onek noted that the UPDF managed to restore peace and tranquility in the Acholi subregion amidst the bad politics from some negative forces that at the time looked at the politics of identity as opposed to national interests. Onek advised the people of Lamwo district to support the UPDF and the National Resistance Movement programmes to fight insecurity and poverty.
“We should avoid any form of association with politics based on sectarianism for us to realise our dreams,” he said.
The civil-military activities being carried out by both the UPDF engineer’s brigade and medical teams to mark the Tarehe Sita celebrations, have caused excitement in the district. The UPDF chief of education, sports and culture, Brig. Phinehas Katirima, who accompanied Onek, noted that celebrating the Army Week in Acholi sub-region signifies the role played by the Acholi community and the UPDF in defeating negative forces in the region.
The 38th Tarehe Sita civilmilitary activities, which aim at recognising the role of the civilian community in liberating Uganda from past undemocratic and dictatorial regimes, will take place in all the eight districts of Acholi sub-region (Agago, Amuru, Omoro, Gulu, Kitgum, Nwoya, Lamwo and Pader) under the theme, UPDF and the People: Consolidating the Peace for Sustainable Development and Prosperity. On the same day, in Pader district, the UPDF started renovating the anti-retroviral therapy clinic and the maternity ward at Pader Health Centre III. The Minister of State for Works and Transport, Gen. Katumba Wamala, flagged off the civil-military activities in Pader district with a warning to the residents to guard against insurgents infiltrating their area.
He reminded them of the many atrocities committed by Joseph Kony under the LRA. Wamala urged the people to guard the prevailing peace and stability jealously so that major infrastructural projects, such as roads and electricity, can be extended to the remote areas in the region and, thereby, cause socio-economic transformation. The main event will take place in Kitgum town on Wednesday and will be officiated by Gen. Yoweri Museveni, the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.