800 suspected criminals arrested in Karamoja over cattle rustling

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The joint security forces have detained over 800 suspected criminals arrested during a cordon and search operation against cattle rustlers in Karamoja.

Despite the improvement in security, the joint forces comprising police and army are engaged in cordon and search operations in the districts of Kotido, Abim, Moroto, Napak, Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Nabilatuk, and Karenga.

Micheal Longole, the Mt. Moroto region police spokesperson said the energized operations are aimed at recovering illegal guns, arresting and prosecuting criminal elements who have been involved in cattle rustling.

‘’We rounded up a total of 800 suspects on day one of the operations and the screening is underway with more other operations going on,’’ Longole said.

Longole revealed that no firearm was recovered in the operations, but a number of bow and arrows were recovered when they learnt that they were also used for committing crimes.

He said that suspects arrested are paraded before the community so as to help the security personnel to identify the wrong elements during the screening exercise.

According to Longole, those arrested mainly consist of the youth aged between 15 and 28 who are actively participating in armed cattle raids.

Authorities have warned residents to avoid running away when they see security forces surrounding their village. 

The security personnel on Monday shot dead one Karamojong who tried running away during the cordon and search operation in Nadunget sub county in Moroto district.

Longole appealed to the community to support the security agencies in keeping Karamoja peaceful and reporting those suspected to be having illegal guns to security for further action.

He noted that the operations to crack down on the cattle rustlers will continue, adding they have dominated the areas suspected to be harboring these criminals.

The joint security forces have been carrying out a disarmament programme in karamoja since July 2021.  

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