Government has said it is set to put in place security measures aimed at curtailing the escalating cases of cattle rustling and related murders in Teso sub-region.
According to the State Minister for Internal Affairs, Gen. David Muhoozi, Government is committed to intervene in the situation allegedly occasioned by Karimojong cattle rustlers by deploying security in the area on top of having a comprehensive plan for a long-term solution.
Muhoozi said an operation of that nature would take up to three months but they will ensure timely reports about the situation are tabled before Parliament.
The commitment to bring cattle rustling to an end followed Deputy Speaker, Anita Among’s instruction for Government to bring to an end rampant cattle thefts and related murders in their region believed to be carried out by Karimojong cattle rustlers.
Members of Parliament from Teso and Acholi sub-regions have in the recent past complained about cattle rustling that has caused levels of security in the area.
Usuk County MP, Bosco Okiror said there is growing insecurity in Katakwi and Kapelebyong districts and the neighbouring areas.
He told the House that people were spending sleepless nights in fear of being harmed and their livestock taken.
Okiror reported that over ten (10) people in the area had so far lost their lives and 200 head of cattle had been lost, with no hope of recovery.
He noted that most of the residents of the affected and neighbouring villages had deserted their homes for safety and their wellbeing.
Okiror appealed to the Government to intervene by deploying adequate security in the areas bordering Teso and Karamoja sub-regions to curb the cattle rustling, emphasizing that Government has a duty to protect people and their property.
The Government of Uganda undertook a disarmament exercise during 2001-2002, and over 10,000 firearms were collected. The Government had, however, targeted to collect approximately 30,000 – 40,000 firearms suspected to be in the arms of the Karamojong worriers.
In September 2004, President Yoweri Museveni announced the re-launch of the disarmament exercise, which is currently being conducted by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
Concerns regarding the sustainability of envisaged disarmament interventions led to the design of the KIDDP between January and June 2005. The KIDDP sought to integrate the concerns of a number of stakeholders who believed that there was inadequate consultation and also take into account the lessons learned from the previous exercise.
Between 2006 and 2011 the Government once more engaged in a disarmament exercise in an attempt to end a culture of cattle raiding that had become increasingly destructive since automatic weapons became available in the late 1970s both within and beyond Karamoja’s borders.
The joint forces of UPDF and police since the 17th of July 2021 launched the second phase of disarmament in the Karamoja sub-region.
Kumi Municipality MP, Silas Aogon revealed that everyday people are losing lives and property. He demanded that the Government compensate families that lost their loved ones and also had their livestock stolen on top of deploying security in the area.