Lango leaders ask Museveni to intervene in large-scale cattle raids

UPDF soldiers guard one of the protected kraals near Nakapelimoru barracks in Kotido District on July 3, 2020. About 7,000 heads of cattle are kept at the facility. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Tekwaro Lango Paramount Chief, Eng Dr Moses Michael Odongo Okune, appealed to the government to provide enough security through deployment of motorised patrols. He also called upon religious, cultural and political leaders to join hands in the fight against brutal cattle raids in northeastern Uganda.

The Lango cultural institution and local leaders have asked President Museveni to intervene in the increasing raids perpetrated by Karamojong cattle rustlers in Lango sub-region.
An estimated 400 heads of cattle have been stolen and several members of the community severely wounded by the suspected Karamojong cattle rustlers in Otuke District since January 2023.
Mr George Ojwang Opota, the Prime Minister of Tekwaro Lango, said cattle theft has grown from a few isolated cases to large-scale deadly raids in which hundreds of livestock are stolen.
“Enough is enough. The President should do something to stop these deadly raids and the killings of our people,” Mr Opota said in a press conference at their office in Lira City on Tuesday.
Tekwaro Lango Paramount Chief, Eng Dr Moses Michael Odongo Okune, appealed to the government to provide enough security through deployment of motorised patrols. He also called upon religious, cultural and political leaders to join hands in the fight against brutal cattle raids in northeastern Uganda.
According to Lango Parliamentary Group (LPG), the increasing raids have been happening despite the presence of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) units within the sub-counties of Ogwete, Ogor and Olilim, all in Otuke District.

Mr Francis Oceng, a resident of Lamon Village Adilang Sub-county in Agago District, after his home was burnt by Karimojong warriors in January. PHOTO/ROBERT OWOT


The LC5 chairman of Otuke, Mr Francis Abola, said recently that the district security committee chaired by the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Ms Jillian Akullo, met the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) leadership at Achol-pii Army Barracks, Pader District, in an attempt to find a holistic approach to the problem.
He described the meeting that was equally attended by the UPDF 5th Division commander as a success.
Ms Akullo said the UPDF leadership agreed to deploy soldiers at the borders of Otuke and Abim to protect civilians from the deadly raids being carried out by the Karamojong cattle rustlers.
President Museveni during his visit to the region last year said the raging deadly cattle rustling in northeastern Uganda appears to be a business involving some leaders.
“It is commercial now! It is no longer the traditional cattle rustling. It is business. They steal the cows, put them on lorries and sell them in markets,” Mr Museveni remarked.
Addressing leaders of the Lango and Acholi sub-regions on June 11, 2022, Mr Museveni said the attacks “will be easy to deal with since the raiders have linked up with business people.”
“The roads in Karamoja are not many. If you say they are transporting animals on lorries- where do they pass? That means you soldiers are the ones allowing them to pass,” he opined at Baralegi State Lodge in Otuke District.
Mr Museveni warned that the days of cattle rustlers are numbered, stating that government would install CCTV cameras on roads to enable security monitoring movement of animals in the area.
“Even if there are suspects in Kenya, we shall work with the Kenyan government and arrest them. The Kenyan government cannot harbor people who are endangering us. Even South Sudan, these are friendly governments. As long as we have got intelligence, we shall go for them together,” he said.
Hundreds of livestock have been reported stolen and over 100 people killed or ambushed in deadly attacks by armed rustlers in northeastern Uganda over the last one year.