UPDF Deploys More Soldiers in Katakwi

Written by on July 27, 2021

The increasing cattle thefts in Katakwi by suspected Karimojong warriors have attracted the deployment of more Uganda People’s Defense Force- UPDF soldiers.
For more than two weeks now, residents of Palam, Magoro, Ngariam, Okore and Guyaguya sub-counties among others have been losing cattle almost on a daily basis to suspected Karimojong rustlers. The rustlers raid kraals under the cover of darkness.
Simon Peter Iranit, a resident of Aputon Village in Ngariam Sub County, says the cattle thefts in the area have worsened with residents losing cattle every day. He told our reporter that in the last four days, the village has lost six cattle to rustlers who raid the village at night.

“Whether it is one animal or two at home, the Karimojong will come for it. Six animals were stolen from our village in the last four days and none has been recovered. In Moru, our neighbouring village, they took three animals and the trend continued all over the sub-county and district”, he said.

It is almost a similar scenario in all other sub-counties bordering Karamoja districts. Geoffrey Omolo, the Katakwi District Chairperson, says that theft of cattle has remained the biggest security concern in the district where more than five animals are stolen daily.

Omolo says that the thieves move from one Sub County to another depending on the deployment of soldiers. He says that the existence of the Local Defense Unit- LDU personnel has not helped much in addressing cattle thefts since the cattle thieves have more tactics of penetrating into the kraals.

Brig. Joseph Balukudembe, the 3rd Division UPDF Commander says that they are aware of the situation and have conducted the necessary adjustments to contain the situation.

In 2019, the army recruited LDUs in Katakwi district to help contain cattle theft. But not much has been achieved to contain the situation. Some of the residents of Ngariam Sub County now spend their nights in the cold to protect their animals from thieves.

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