MOROTO – Security forces in Karamoja sub region have launched a hunt for local leaders over alleged conspiracy and aiding cattle rustling.
The security forces claim their new intelligence indicates that there are a lot of conspiracies in the ongoing cattle theft involving leaders and most of the raids that occur have got some connections with local leaders around the area.
Francis Chemusto – the Mt. Moroto Regional Police Commander said on Saturday that they are using all possible means to destabilise the criminals and their alliances so as to restore peace.
Chemusto said the security forces shall be closely monitoring leaders to ascertain those who are conniving with cattle rustlers to steal cows.
According to him, they have considered arresting the leaders because many of them are linked to several cattle thefts and gun violence.
“We are now turning our intelligence on the local leaders, we have been fighting directly with the armed warriors but we discovered that there are some leaders behind them – so we want to dig them out,” said Chemusto.
He said they have already got gadgets which will help to extract the phone call conversations print out from the leaders.
However, the resolution did not go well with a section of leaders who claimed that arresting them will give the warriors space to gain momentum for raids because no one else shall coordinate with security to apprehend the criminals.
Tom Olaka, the LC3 chairperson for Namalu sub county, Nakapiripirit district said that the forces should revive back the intelligent led operations that worked better than cordon and search which takes even innocent people.
Olaka said as leaders they are doing a great job to arrest the criminals but sometimes their effort is frustrated when they see suspects being released without trials in the courts of law.
Olaka said they are already living in fear because the warriors are hunting their souls, and they thought security would protect them instead of arresting.
“We are already being wanted by the warriors, our only hope is security forces to protect us, now if they are also turning against us yet we have been working together where we shall run for safety,” he wondered.
Olaka urged security forces to continue cooperating with leaders as usual to reclaim peace and use the intelligence to detect some of the leaders involved in wrong acts but not all.
Paul Lokol, the LCV chairperson for Nabilatuk district noted that terrible thieves staying in the bush and arresting innocent people in the villages shall not restore peace in the region.
Lokol said he is already engulfed with fear because many of his colleagues have been arrested anyway without clear information.
He revealed that the disarmament needs all the stakeholders involved because the forces alone cannot succeed without the leads from leaders.
Lokol appealed to the security forces to drop the plans and continue cooperating with the leaders because already some little peace is realized due to the collaboration in the operations against cattle rustlers.
Additional report by URN