MOROTO – The joint Security Forces in Karamoja sub region have announced plans to resume massive operations against cattle rustlers who have resurfaced during the festive holidays.
The cattle raiders took advantage of the break the forces took during festive holidays to resurface and have been carrying attacks in Moroto, Kotido and Nabilatuk districts.
Brig Gen Joseph Balikudembe, the UPDF 3rd division commander said the region has had peace since June 2022, but they discovered that the remaining few wrong elements have started causing havoc in the communities. He says the forces shall resume energized operations against the criminals this January.
According to Balikudembe, the small break they had over the festive holiday made the warriors think the battle against illegal guns is over.
“I want you, the local leaders, to tell those brothers of ours in the bush that we are coming back massively to deal with them, however those who need peace still have a room to surrender their guns and they shall be forgiven,’’ said Balikudembe.
He said they will continue working with some local leaders to help them coordinate activities to ensure voluntary handover of illegal guns.
Jacinta Ayoo, the RDC Nabilatuk said that they have so far lost an unspecified number of cattle to suspected warriors in Napak district.
Ayoo noted that although the communities have embraced peace, the raiders from Napak district have taken advantage to attack the peaceful neighbours.
According to Ayoo, they have noticed that the people of Napak district have resorted to revenge attacks raising fears of resurgence of insecurity if not handled properly.
Early last week, the suspected cattle raiders attacked a kraal that was about 200 meters away from Loputuk army detach, stealing an unspecified number of cattle which have not been recovered up to date.
Meanwhile in Kotido district, the warriors attacked a kraal in Locedemeu village in Kotido central division but fortunately they started shooting at themselves, leaving one dead.
John Bosco Akore, the secretary Kotido Elders Council said the two armed warriors invaded a cattle kraal for a raid mission but later developed misunderstanding and one turned wild, killing colleague.
Akore said the warrior who was injured started firing live bullets into people’s houses, scattering everyone in the village.
The joint security forces have been conducting cordon and search operations that resulted into the recovery of 683 guns since the Usalama Kwa Wote operations were launched in July 2021.