What you need to know:
Many of the cases are attributed to domestic violence and mob justice
A total of 84 people have been killed in Lango Sub-region in the last six months, which is more than10 cases on a monthly basis, statistics from North Kyoga Regional Police headquarters indicate.
The leading cause of the murders is assault, which claimed 36 lives, mob action (25), arson (nine), domestic violence (eight), poisoning (five), and one shooting incident.
One of the murders involved a journalist and his lover Monica Amongi, 25, in April.
Jasper Awio, 29, confessed to police that he slit his ex-lover’s throat before cutting off her hands.
Trouble started in August last year after Amongi told Awio that their relationship had ended.
On June 20, the High Court in Gulu sentenced Awio to 20 years in prison for murdering his ex-lover.
Awio, a resident of Lira City, was convicted under the plea bargain programme.
In another instance, police in Kwania District last week arrested three people in connection with the killing of a man who had sought to recover a Shs3,000 loan from an elderly woman.
The suspects, who were detained at Kwania Central Police Station, allegedly killed Moses Ekwang, 28, on August 7.
The deceased, a resident of Amia Village, Aboko Parish in Aduku Sub-county, had escorted a friend to recover the money.
Trouble reportedly started when the duo was not given the money, forcing them to take about 5kgs of maize from the woman, which resulted in a confrontation.
A witness said when the woman’s son saw what was happening, he hit Ekwang on the head with a stick, killing him instantly. The suspect and his parents were later arrested.
“I heard an alarm and I rushed to the home. I found people who wanted to kill these three people,” Mr Alfred Onac, the Amia Village chairperson, told Daily Monitor last week
The North Kyoga regional police spokesperson, Mr Patrick Jimmy Okema, confirmed the incident.
Police are also hunting for a 35-year-old man who allegedly killed his brother following a domestic brawl at Bar-Apwo Cell, eastern Ward in Inomo Town Council, Kwania, last week.
It is reported that the suspect had a misunderstanding with his brother Mike Okello before he allegedly hacking him to death.
“They went to a drinking joint at the trading centre and picked a quarrel over their family issues but one had a machete which he used to attack his brother,” Mr Ambrose Abila, a resident, said.
Mr Okema said their detectives visited the crime scene to help with investigations.
“This gentleman has taken off but we appeal to the public or anybody who knows where he is hiding to report him because he might be killed by a mob if he stays in the community,” he said last week. Two weeks ago, five people were murdered in Apac, Amolatar and Dokolo districts.
According to the public, the problem is deep-rooted.
Rev Christopher Ameny, the vicar of Apac Urban Archdeaconry, said mob action is common in Lango due to a wrong perspective of police.
“The legal system is something which the majority don’t understand. When a suspected thief is arrested and released on bond after spending two or more days in police custody, the owner of the property gets angry and resorts to mobilising the community to kill that suspect,” he said.
Mr Robert Tile, the Atek Keno clan chief, blamed the cases of mob action on ignorance about the law.
“These thieves are our children and when we tell them not to steal, but to instead work hard, they don’t want. So sometimes members of the community feel relieved when they are killed,” he said.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE FUEL KILLINGS – BISHOP
Lira Diocese Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok, blames the killings on drug abuse and irresponsible consumption of alcohol. “The killings are either political or social and we think that they are mainly social. People take harmful substances such as marijuana,” Bishop Wanok said last year. “You find people taking them freely on the street. Some grow and sell them, and this is combined with alcohol. [You find that] a wife is killing the husband, husband is killing the wife and a woman is killing her child. It’s because they have taken these substances,” he added. In 2015, police announced a crackdown on illegal sale of alcohol in the sub-region.Retailers and pubs selling alcohol to children under 18, pregnant women and drivers would be closed.“We have seen people who have become widows, widowers, orphans because of this alcohol,” Mr Edson Turanyomwe Birema, then North Kyoga regional traffic officer, said. However, the problem still persists.