The joint security forces have shot dead four Karimojong cattle rustlers and recovered two guns in Kotido district.
The warriors were killed during a 40-minute shootout at Apikidor village in Abim district Sunday night.
Ambrose Onoria, the Kotido Resident District Commissioner, says that an unspecified number of Dodoth cattle rustlers crossed from Kaabong district and attempted to raid animals from Opuyon kraal.
However, the joint security forces comprising Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers and police foiled their mission.
“They came and didn’t know that UPDF and the Anti stock Theft Unit (ASTU) had got information about their plan. So our security personnel got ready for them and they fought.
But the rustlers were overpowered and four were killed and two guns recovered,” he said. He said no livestock was raided by the rustlers who run in disarray.
Onoria, who doubles, as the Kotido District Security Committee Chairperson, says that security forces will continue breaking the chains of cattle rustlers who are trying to distabilise the peace in Karamoja.
Jino Meri, the Kaabong District LC V Chairperson, says that cattle rustling was making it hard for the government to be questioned in service delivery in the region.
“We are telling our people to desist from raiding because this raiding exercise has finished our grown up youth whom we should see as leaders of Karamoja tomorrow,” he said. Patrick Munyes, one of the peace activists in Kotido district, says that education will be the only means to end cattle rustling in Karamoja region.
“My prayer is that the government accepts to make education compulsory for Karamoja child because if you looked at the boys being killed for raiding are children bellow 17years who are supposed to be at school,”he said.
Despite the presence of soldiers and police in Karamoja, the rustlers have continued raiding animals.
Major Isac Oware, the UPDF 3rd Division Spokesperson couldn’t be reached for a comment as he neither picked up nor returned calls from our reporter.
On Friday night, rustlers dared the UPDP protected Kraal in Lokisile sub county in Moroto district and raided animals. The rustlers overpowered the soldiers deployed to protect the animals.