24 February 2018

Uganda: Gunmen Abduct Five Refugees, Steal Over 200 Cattle in Moyo

Moyo — Gunmen suspected to be members of the SPLA have abducted five South Sudan refugees and raided over 200 herds of cattle at Gbari and Arapi villages in Metu Sub County, Moyo district.

The gunmen that attacked the place on Friday drove the raided cattle to South Sudan. One of the abducted refugees was allegedly killed by the gunmen.

Two of them escaped after the intervention by UPDF and policemen from Moyo who followed them 60 kilometers deep into South Sudan.

Mr James Karode, the LC 1 Chairman of Gbari village, said: "We pray that government leaders from the two counties harmonize this matter because we need peace. Our people have been disturbed for many years now before and this has affected even agriculture in this village."

The raid has caused fears among the locals with past experiences where they had, at the hands of South Sudanese soldiers, lost their cattle.

Mr Moses Modi, one of the survivors told Daily Monitor on Friday that he had 58 herds of cattle by the time the gunmen raided his grazing area. He said he ran and hid in a nearby stream for fear of being shot dead.

Another survivor, Mr James Modi, said: "Our hands and legs were tied up for some hours before untying us to cook food. This was the time we escaped and left all the animals with them. But one of us who was taken into captivity was killed because he was resisting their orders," he explained.

Regional Police commander for North West Nile, Mr Ignatius Otong, said the Ugandan government is in contact with the leadership of South Sudan to recover these animals.

"I appeal to the local communities to help and work together with the security agencies to restore peace in the area by providing necessary information about suspected insecurity cases," Otong said.

Efforts to contact the South Sudan officials failed but the operations to recover the cattle and rescue the abductees were led by South Sudan Spy Chief, Capt Oliver Duku.

Past incidents

In 2017 over 600 heads of cattle were taken with 13 people by the same group,

On 13th February 2018, over 300 were taken

On 21st February 2018 over 400 were raided and 5 South Sudanese nationals abducted and one of them was killed.

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