Police have started training Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel, who were withdrawn from Kampala Metropolitan area after high incidents of human rights abuse, in riot control tactics.
The LDUs are being trained by Field Force Unit instructors on how to use riot control equipment and tactics that are considered to be less lethal than military weapons they (LDUs) often carry.
Police instructors are now training them on tactical methods of arrest, crowd control and the use of tear gas shell launchers.
Two weeks ago, the Defence Ministry said LDUs were undergoing refresher training at Kakiri military barracks. The training will cover 10 LDU battalions, which is around 8,000 personnel.
After training, the LDU personnel will be redeployed to the city streets during the election period.
The violence of some of the LDUs, including shootings, robbery and torture of citizens, has been documented in several parts of the country.
In one of his televised addresses, President Museveni castigated the LDUs for their ‘uncouth’ conduct towards civilians and tasked Lt Col Edith Nakalema, the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, to handle the matter, as well as urging citizens to reach out to her in case they are harassed by the LDUs.
President Museveni described the errant LDUs as “pigs”, and added that they are tarnishing the image of his government in the eyes of the local population and internationally.
The Defence Ministry spokesman Brig Richard Karemire recently said some LDUs who were involved in indiscipline issues were either corrected or punished.