Rustlers target security informers in Karamoja

Tuesday September 14 2021
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Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso, spokesperson for the Uganda People's Defense Forces. PHOTO / FILE

By Andrew Bagala

Cattle rustlers in Karamoja Sub-region have started targeting people they suspect to be leaking information to the security agencies about the raiders and where they keep their guns.

The Defence Ministry spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso, said the latest attacks and raids are targeting individuals suspected to be working with the security agencies.

“Due to forceful disarmament that is going on in the Karamoja region, some incidents of attacks have been registered. These are targeting those accused of leaking information to the security agents about illegal possession of firearms,” Brig Byekwaso said yesterday.

The situation in Karamoja region has worsened with raids, cattle rustling and killings registered on a daily basis.

The military said they have recovered more than 70 guns and 2,500 bullets in the region since last month.   

Last weekend, President Museveni visited the region and met local leaders. He is to meet security chiefs tomorrow to chart a way forward to stop road ambushes and cross border attacks.

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The security agencies predicted tough times in the Karamoja region and the problem had been reflected in their budgets.

Police budget

In the police budget of this financial year, the Anti Stock Theft Unit, which operates mainly in the Karamoja region, was provided Shs43b.

The money is nearly equal to Shs48.9b combined allocation for the Criminal Investigations Directorate, the Directorate of Forensic Service and Canine Unit in the same period.

According to police, the money will be used to buy 15 armoured vehicles worth Shs10.5b to carry out patrols in areas of Chepsukunya, Kolir, Katakwi, Abim, Pader, Kitgum, Lamwo, Karenga, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto, Napak, Nabilatuk, Nakapiripirit, and Amudat.

Each armoured vehicle will be bought at Shs700m.

The police will also buy two armoured ambulances at Shs1.4b to operate in the Karamoja region, according to the police budget of this financial year.

President Museveni also ordered the military to use drones to track down cattle rustlers in the region.

The government is also going to acquire all terrain vehicles (quad motorcycles) for ASTU operatives to enable teams to reach remote areas.

In addition to that, they are investing in sniffer dogs that are to be used in the recovery of firearms and tracking down stolen cows.

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