CATTLE RUSTLING: Security Caution Leaders Sabotaging Operations Against Cattle Raiders

The Joint security forces of Uganda Police Force under the Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) and Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have cautioned leaders against sabotaging efforts of security establishments that are working determinedly to end Cattle rustling in Northern Uganda.

Since mid this year, many communities were raided in Lotome Sub County, Napak district prompting UPDF and ASTU to carry out an operation where more than 1000 head of cattle were impounded.

ASTU and UPDF Officers

Through the intelligence of the Ugandan security agencies  led by UPDF and ASTU with the help of the area office of District Internal Security Office (DISO) , It was stolen cattle were being kept in the parishes of Kaisin, Kodonyo and Napatara-Kwangan in Loputuk Sub County, Moroto district by Mathekini raiders prompting a security operation on the places.

‘’To Our surprise ,when we invited the affected communities on Saturday 16th October 2021 for an identification exercise some local leaders from Moroto mobilized the locals to stop the program’’, revealed one of the security officials.

A security source added that although the identification program is transparent given that the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and District Chairpersons of the affected districts are invited to witness the exercise, some unpatriotic local leaders from Moroto mobilized the locals to stop the exercise.

‘’It deprives people of their livelihoods and increases poverty. It’s often breadwinners who are injured or killed in raids, fuelling communal grievances and revenge attacks’’, said a source.

Cattle rustling or raiding is a form of organized crime committed by criminal networks that left dozens killed or maimed, and negatively affected human security and development in the region.

‘’Two people from Napak were injured and the exercise was postponed. However, as security we are therefore calling upon leaders to support these operations because they are for the betterment of Karamoja. Demonstrations are criminal and uncalled for. This has been seen in Kaabong and Moroto. We caution leaders against inciting violence, the perpetrators will be arrested’’, revealed a security official from UPDF.

The army further strongly warned politicians against mobilizing the public to sabotage its operations, meant to arrest criminals and recover stolen animals.

Cattle are an agricultural and cultural mainstay for thousands of Ugandans however, the impact of livestock theft on communities is severe.

Some leaders have been shielding suspects responsible for increased cattle rustling yet the vice has caused the death of several people and the theft of thousands of head of cattle.

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