Cattle rustling cases reduce as UPDF deploys more troops in Karamoja

Karimojong LDUs showing their tactical skills before they were passed out  last year at Olilim Army training school in Katakwi district . PHOTO/STEVEN ARIONG.

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  • Brig Joseph Balikudembe, the 3rd division commander confirmed that the region is relatively peaceful, but said the scaling down of raids does not mean that the raiders have lost appetite. He thinks the rustlers are now trying to study the environment after the deployment of more troops in Teso and Karamoja.

Peace is slowly getting back to Karamoja following the reduction of cattle rustling cases by Karimojong pastoralists.

The reduction according to the district chairpersons and the UPDF was a result of intensified operations and community sensitisation by political leaders, elders, and development partners.

Mr Joseph Komol, the Kotido District chairperson said in a week or two, the district can register only one case of raid yet it used to be on a daily basis in the previous two months ago.

"Right now we are seeing some peace, we are registering a few burglary cases," he said.

Mr Jino Meri, the Kaabong District chairperson said many families that had fled their homes and gardens have since returned and life is moving on as usual.

"I can say the general situation has calmed down because many people especially in the sub-counties of Loyoro, Kamion, Kalapata who had fled their homes, have all come back," he said.

Mr Paul Komol, the Nabilatuk District chairperson said the scaling down of the cattle rustling was after the elders took the role of talking to their children to stop the raids.

Brig Joseph Balikudembe, the 3rd division commander confirmed that the region is relatively peaceful, but said the scaling down of raids does not mean that the raiders have lost appetite. He thinks the rustlers are now trying to study the environment after the deployment of more troops in Teso and Karamoja.

Last month President Museveni ordered the deployment of 6,000 additional soldiers on the border of Teso and Karamoja sub-regions.

So far two battalions have been deployed; one in Abim District to oversee Lotukei and Agago, and another around Kapelebyong to oversee the bordering districts of Katakwi and Amuria.

"It’s true there is a reduction in cattle rustling in Karamoja right now but that's not to say the rustlers have given up, they could be also studying the environment, but we are saying they must lose appetite for raiding completely," he said.

Two weeks ago, the security destroyed 378 illegal guns that they recovered from the Karimojong cattle rustlers.

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