Minister apologises to Teso residents affected by cattle rustling

State Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Ms Esther Anyakun hands over relief to displaced locals at Okungur Primary School on Wednesday. PHOTO | FRED WAMBEDE 

What you need to know:

  • While addressing the displaced locals at Okungur Primary School in Okungur Sub County in Kapelebyong District on Thursday, Ms Anyakun said as leaders from Karamoja, they condemn the acts of the cattle raiding.

The State Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Ms Esther Anyakun has apologised to the locals affected by cattle rustling in Teso sub-region, especially in the areas of Katakwi and Kapelebyong districts.

While addressing the displaced locals at Okungur Primary School in Okungur Sub County in Kapelebyong District on Thursday, Ms Anyakun said as leaders from Karamoja, they condemn the acts of the cattle raiding.

“I apologise on behalf of the people of Karamoja to the people of Kapelebyong that not everybody is a criminal in Karamoja. There are few elements who are doing this,” she said.

Suspected Karimojong warriors have in the past few months caused mayhem and stolen cattle in Kapelebyong, Katakwi and other neighbouring districts in Teso.

About 2,518 people in the communities of Okungur, Achinga Acowa in Kapelebyong, were displaced.

Ms Anyakun said the government is committed to ensuring that peace returns in the affected areas and supporting the displaced families.

Ms Anyakun, who is also the woman MP for Nakapiripirit District made the remarks while handing over non-food relief to over 250 displaced families.

The relief including Jerrycans, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, tarpaulins, saucepans, plates, and solar lamps among others were donated by Uganda Red Cross.

Mr Robert Kwesiga, Uganda Red Cross Secretary-General said the relief was to help to build community resilience, and give hope to those affected by the cattle rustling.

Mr Thomas Aleu, the chairperson of one of the affected villages (Obulinu) said the situation is dire despite the deployment of UPDF soldiers to tackle the warriors.

“Although the leaders are telling us to return to our homes, the people are hesitant because even last week, we were raided,” he said.

Mr Joseph Enotu, the LC111 chairperson of Okungur Sub County, said the poor road network is failing the movement of the troops.

Mr James Kidega, the RDC Kapelebyong said they will embark on dialogue and other available avenues to ensure that peace returns.

Mr Musa Ecweru, the State Minister for Works, said the government has deployed adequate UPDF soldiers in order to return to normalcy.

“The movement of the troops is being hampered by the poor roads but we are going to prioritise the construction of roads in Kapelebyong, Katakwi, and Bukedea,” he said.

Background

The Karimojong warriors stepped-up cattle raids in the districts of Kumi, Bukedea, Katakwi, and Kapelebyong in the Teso sub region since March. The raids have left more than 2,000 cattle stolen in Katakwi and more than 651 raided in Kapelebyong. People have also been killed in Kumi, Katakwi, and Kapelebyong ever since the raids intensified in October 2021.

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