Minister calls for more police posts in Karamoja

Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Ms Mary Goretti Kitutu, and her deputy, Ms Agnes Nandutu. PHOTO/COMBO

The Minister of Karamoja Affairs, Ms Mary Goretti Kitutu, has called for establishment of more community police posts in Karamoja Sub-region to fight cattle raiders.

Ms Kitutu said the police posts will quicken response to raids and in the long run restore peace and cause development.

“We believe that if more police posts are constructed, this will contribute to increased presence and functionality of community policing, safety and security in Karamoja,” Ms Kitutu said.

She was speaking during the commissioning of Morulem Community Police Post in Obulokome Town Council, Abim District, on Tuesday.

Morulem is one of the seven police posts that were constructed by the Office of the Prime Minister with funding from the European Union under the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) to increase presence and strengthen capacity of police.

Other beneficiary districts are Kotido (Nakapelimoru Sub-county), Moroto (Nakiloro Sub-county), Nakapiripirit (Namalu Sub-county), Napak (Apeitolim Sub-county), Kaabong (Alakas Sub-county) and Karenga (Lokori Sub-county).

Mr James Ocaya, the police director for research planning and development, said only 24 out of 76 sub-counties in Karamoja have police posts.

“Karamoja has a long history of insecurity such as illegal possession of and misuse of weapons, and cattle raids, among others, and this leads to low development,” he said.

He added that there is a need for more police posts, saying this will help in blocking porous routes used by cattle rustlers.

“Cattle rustling remains one of the major offences which directly affect the livelihoods of the communities,” he said.

The seven police posts are built along the suspected escape routes used by the cattle rustlers.

Mr Ocaya said this will improve the mobility of the Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) to effectively counteract the criminals.

Ms Pamela Kabahesi, the national programme coordinator of DINU, said they are also training about 500 police officers.

“We have training of police officers in all the districts of Karamoja region in community policing methodologies, customer care, human rights observance and community sensitisation towards safety and security,” she said.

Mr Banuli Mabala, the deputy resident district commissioner for Bukwo, said the functionality of police will increase access to justice, prevention and detention of crime.

Mr Gonzaga Mayanja, the commissioner for monitoring and evaluation at OPM, said the intervention is very timely.

“The police posts have been established to foster security and stability in locations that were previously regarded as black spots for warriors and raiding activities,” he said.

Mr Silvester Omara, the chairperson of the implementation committee of Morulem Police Post, said the security situation has been bad without a police post.

Fully equipped

Each of the seven police posts is equipped with solar power, furniture, two motorcycles to support officers’ transport, water harvesting system and a borehole.

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