What you need to know:
- Last week, district chairpersons from neighbouring Karamoja challenged the army leadership to step up their vigilance because the insecurity was hurting their social and economic lives.
The army in Kotido District is hunting for a group of seven suspected warriors who allegedly shot dead a 10-year-old pupil and injured two others as they were reporting back to school on Sunday.
The acting 3rd division army spokesperson, Maj Moses Amuya, said the suspects would be charged once they are caught .
Mr Amuya said the investigations indicate that the suspects were armed with two guns , bow and arrows.
“We don’t tolerate such actions. Forces are on ground chasing after them,” he said.
Mr Amuya said the army has recovered more than 540 guns from warriors in the past year.
The deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mr Gabriel Etesot, said the attack was unexpected.
“Even with the RDCS, we are on the wanted list, the situation can normalise but suddenly becomes fragile again, but thanks to the army leadership, there is deployment, which is bringing back normality,” Mr Etesot said.
He identified the deceased as Catherine Atima, 10, and one of the injured as Martha Akello.
Mr Julius Okello, the father of the children, said the suspects, who were moving on a boda boda, laid an ambush and opened fire on the victims.
He said the occupants of a vehicle that had pulled ahead of the children returned to the scene upon hearing gunshots and transported the injured to Soroti Hospital.
“We also delivered the body through the help of the Toroma MP to Katakwi District Hospital for postmortem,” he added.
Last week, district chairpersons from neighbouring Karamoja challenged the army leadership to step up their vigilance because the insecurity was hurting their social and economic lives.
Army recover more guns
The attack on children comes a month after a joint force of the army and police arrested the most wanted Karamoja warrior, Lokitan Lomiri, in an operation conducted in Moroto, Napak and Katakwi districts, where at least 106 guns were also recovered. Brig General Joseph Balikudembe, the UPDF 3rd Division commander, promised to arrest warriors who will hand over their guns voluntarily for further investigations.
Brig Balikudembe said handing over a gun voluntarily is not enough for them to set a suspect free, saying they will detain them as they investigate how the gun was used in committing crimes.
Robert Longom, a resident of Napumpum Sub-county, said he was not surprised by the army’s decision not to arrest the suspect because of the corruption in the disarmament exercise. Longom said on several occasions, it is the warriors without money for bribing security officers who suffer in jail while those who can pay are set free.