The sub-county chairpersons in the Karamoja sub-region are living in fear as cattle raiders shift their wrath on the leaders whom they accuse of “interfering” with their attacks.
The most targeted leaders are the sub-county chairpersons and local councilors, alongside GISOs and PISOs whom the cattle raiders are accusing of leaking the information about their movement to the security forces who are now hunting for them.
URN has learnt that the suspected cattle rustlers have been issuing threatening letters to different entities like media, local leaders and security officials warning them to desist from disrupting their activities.
In April 2021, the unknown warriors dropped letters at two radio stations in Moroto municipality warning the radio presenters to stop discussions on the security situation in the region or else they would be killed.
John Robert Adupa the LC3 chairperson Lotisan Sub-county in Moroto district says the armed warriors have so far broken into his home four times attempting to kill him.
Adupa said his life is in danger because the warriors are now suspecting him to be the ones feeding the army with information about the illegal guns.
‘’Whenever there’s a raid anywhere, we are always the first to be contacted by the community, in fact we are the one on the ground, we move around tracing for the animals now the raiders are targeting us for blocking their plans and because they are armed, they can attack us at any time’’ Adupa said.
John Ogwel, the Lc3 chairperson Nabwal sub-county in Napak district told URN on phone that the raiders have attempted to ambush him several times on his way returning from work.
He added that the situation has forced him to reallocate his family to Iriiri sub-county which is about 24 kilometers away from Nabwal sub-county where he is stationed.
He says the armed Karamojong have continued warning him verbally to stop coordinating with the security forces but when he reports the matter to the security officials, very little attention is paid, which puts his life at risk.
Emmanuel Lomokol, a resident of Lotome village in Lotome sub county Napak district said that in September 2021, the cattle raiders from Kotido district issued a letter notifying them of their planned attacks, they took it for granted but later on they were attacked.
Lomokol says he’s wondering how cattle rustlers have reached to the level of sending letters to the communities in advance about their planned attacks but which are underrated by the security forces.
The UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson Maj Isaac Oware says they are concerned about the issue and they are analyzing the situation to see how to address it.
Oware appealed to the local leaders to continue cooperating with the joint security forces as they are looking forward to design possible solutions for their safety.
Back in 2020, the Rupa sub county LC3 chairperson in Moroto district, Dan Apollo was shot dead by Local Defence Unit personnel following a disagreement over impounded stolen animals.
Early in the month of March 2022, The Parish Intelligence Security Officer (PISO) in Akwangagwel Parish in Morulem Sub-county of Abim District also escaped death by burning after his house was set on fire by Karamojong raiders.