Uganda-South Sudan Border Closed Over Cattle Raid

Residents of Orom Sub County in Kitgum district have closed the Akilok border between Uganda-South Sudan following a raid on kraals in the area by Sudanese gunmen. It all started on Wednesday night after armed Sudanese men raided kraals in Okudi parish and made away with 12 heads of cattle. Residents traced the marks of the cattle to the South Sudan border. They managed to recover only two of the 12 cows that were taken by the gunmen from the Kraal.  Enraged by the continuous raids, residents moved to close Akilok border post and denied south sudan traders access to Akilok market in Orom sub-county. They also threatened to kill any south Sudanese national who steps in Uganda.

Pontiano Omara, who lost three cows, says that he cannot allow any Sudanese national to cross into Uganda unless he recovers his animals. Omara says they have always allowed Sudanese national free access only to suffer continuous cattle raids at night. He says they have suffered enough and warned the Sudanese not to step on Ugandan soil. Quirino Olum, the LC 3 sub-county chairperson says the situation is tense. He says the locals are annoyed because the Sudanese have been raiding the place at will. He accused the army that was deployed in the sub county to prevent the cattle raids of doing little to stop the Sudanese rustlers.

Olum says he spent most of Thursday morning pleading with residents not to attack south Sudanese nationals who cross into Uganda.  He however says that he is helpless since he cannot guarantee what will happen at night, if the locals follow their threats with action.

Olum blames the district leadership for remaining silent on the issue of raids. He says the Wednesday night cattle raid is the third, since this year begun in his sub county.
Olum says each time he reports the cattle raid to both the district security committee and political leadership nothing is done. He says that residents are angry because they feel abandoned. Both Police and the army have not yet commented on the latest raids. Attempts by our reporter to get a comment were futile.

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