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Museveni Tasks UPDF Commanders To End Illegal Charcoal Trade in Acholi

By Ivan Tolit

President Yoweri Museveni has put to task the newly appointed UPDF 4th and 5th division commanders to end environmental injustices in Acholi sub region.

This was after leaders from Acholi sub region raised the concern during a meeting with the President at Baralegi State Lodge in Otuke district on Monday.

Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of parliament Amuru District told the President that a section of UPDF soldiers were aiding and profiting from the vice.

In his response, President Yoweri Museveni, blames the vice on previous commanders, accusing them of laxity and corruption.

The newly deployed 5th and 4th Division Commanders include Brigadier General Keith Katungi and Brigadier General Michael Kabango.

The growing commercial charcoal business in the region over the years has resulted in a drastic decline of the natural tree covers, with environmentalists worrying that the trend could leave the region bare in the future.

According to the Global Forest Watch report, the Gulu district alone lost 38.7kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 6.2 percent decrease in tree cover from 2001 to 2021.

Last year the Environment Ministry banned all districts in Acholi sub-region from issuing documents facilitating the commercial production, trade, and transportation of charcoal.

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