The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) are overwhelmed by the number of youth in West Nile seeking employment in the Local Defence Unit (LDU). The number of youth recruitments in Nebbi, Pakwach and Zombo has surpassed the required figures, according to the army.
President Yoweri Museveni ordered the recruitment of 24,000 LDUs in September last year following a spate of murders, kidnaps and robberies. Therefore, the UPDF in October recruited over 6,400 LDU personnel and these were deployed in the Kampala Metropolitan area after undergoing four-months’ basic military training.
Recently, the army announced that it would conduct a two-week recruitment exercise seeking to employ more 13,000 LDU personnel for districts in central, eastern, northern and mid-western regions. The exercise started on July 15.
For Nebbi, Pakwach and Zombo, the army was targeting 300 recruits for the three districts. However, on Saturday, by 7:00 am, the turnout at the recruitment centre for the three districts was over 1,000. There was a stampede at the Nebbi district headquarters’ gate as the youth struggled to access the recruitment centre.
Maj Caesar Olweny, the UPDF 4th Division spokesperson, says the massive turnup demonstrates the love people have for their country. He said apart from being physically fit, a potential recruit must have a national identity card, recommendations from the LC1, GISO and DISO, no criminal record, hold a Primary Seven or O’level certificate and must be aged between 18 and 35 years.