Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) working alongside Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has have arrested 13 men and three women in connection to theft of cattle in Moroto district.
The 16 persons have been taken for custody at the 3rd Division Headquarters in Moroto, pending further investigations.
The suspects were picked during a peaceful identification exercise in Nadunget Sub County for over 1, 700 impounded cattle from Kodonyo and Napar-Kwangan parishes in Lopuyo Sub County, Moroto district.
‘’This followed a raid in Napak district last week where our intelligence showed that the raided cattle were being hidden in Loputuk Sub County. At least 47 heads of cattle belonging to the residents of Napak were found in the kraals in Loputuk Sub County while five were identified by the residents of Nabilatuk leading to the arrest of 16 suspects’’, revealed Brig. Gen. Joseph Balikudembe the Infantry Division Commander.
Balikudembe added that UPDF and ASTU will continue operations to recover stolen animals and arresting those involved in raids in order to stamp out cattle rustling Karamoja.
“The UPDF will continue impounding cattle and arresting the raiders, until this vice is stamped out completely. If we get have information about where there are raided cattle we impound all cattle in the area for identification and the culprits who are arrested will be prosecuted,” he added.
While officiating at the identification exercise, he further cautioned that once stolen animals are got in a kraal, all the cattle will he handed over to the complainants adding that raiding should become a risky venture.
He called upon the Local Council system to work with the security forces in identifying criminals.
Col. Peter Akakunda, the 403 Brigade Commander advised the youth to stop cattle raids so that peace and development can fully be realized in Karamoja.
Akakunda encouraged the youth to start businesses that can earn them daily income instead of engaging in raids.
The UPDF 3rd Division Spokesperson, Capt. Edrine Mawanda cautioned parents that security forces will be prompted to arresting the parents who send their children to graze animals during school days.