The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has warned its soldiers against misusing social media during their operations in the Karamoja sub-region.
This came up on Monday during the passing out ceremony of 555 Local Defense Personnel at completing a three-month refresher course training at the UPDF 3rd division headquarters.
Major General Don Nabasa, the UPDF 3rd division commander, highlighted that the purpose of the training was to provide soldiers with additional knowledge and skills in the use of weapons to effectively counter-armed Karamojong warriors.
Nabasa emphasized the challenges posed by the armed warriors who have long been accustomed to using weapons and exploiting the forces lacking proper mastery of their firearms.
The commander mentioned that the armed warriors have successfully ambushed the forces in the past, prompting the training to enhance the capacity of the officers.
He urged the personnel to approach their job with love, discipline, patriotism, patience, and loyalty, advising them to avoid rushing in their duties.
In addition, Brigadier General Felix Busizoori, the UPDF 3rd division Deputy Commander, warned the trainees against the use of social media to share photos or videos recorded while on duty. He expressed concerns about officers taking pictures, especially during sensitive moments like torture, and later posting them on social media, causing problems for the institution.
Busizoori also cautioned the local defense personnel against desertion from the forces, emphasizing that such actions promote criminality. During the refresher training, at least six personnel deserted, an act that can result in life sentencing in courts of law.
Major General Francis Takirwa, the Deputy Commander of Land Forces, who presided over the pass-out ceremony, urged soldiers to prioritize saving money for their retirement. He emphasized the need for soldiers to prepare for a secure future and cautioned against reckless spending of salaries instead of investing in development projects.
Takirwa also advised officers to avoid alcoholism and steer clear of practices that could negatively impact their lives. Overall, the warnings and advice aimed to ensure discipline, professionalism, and responsible conduct among the UPDF soldiers in the Karamoja sub-region.