Uganda: UPDF Recover 64 Guns From Karimojong Cattle Rustlers

The Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) have recovered 64 guns and 1,139 rounds of ammunition from Karimojong cattle rustlers in the last six months.

Maj Peter Mugisa, the UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson, yesterday said the weapons were recovered following gunfire exchange between cattle rustlers and UPDF soldiers, and through the cordon and search operations across Karamoja Sub-region.

"We also recovered 7,644 head of cattle raided by the warriors. This is an indication that the Karimojong still hide guns," Maj Mugisa said.

He said other guns were recovered through intelligence-led operations, and peace meetings where the community voluntarily surrendered them.

Maj Mugisa also said 509 cattle rustlers have so far been arrested and charged before the court martial over illegal possession of firearms. They are serving their sentences.

He urged the public to work with the security team to ensure that the culprits are eliminated.

Karamoja has for the last 15 years enjoyed relative peace after government launched the disarmament exercise and collected about 49,000 guns from cattle rustlers.

However, the sub-region started registering incidents of cattle rustling again in October 2019.

Mr Mathew Lokut, a resident of Ngoleriet Sub-county in Napak District, said government should prepare the Karimojong psychologically before disarming them so that the vice is eliminated.

"Government should begin with psycological disarmament because if the mindset is not prepared,insecurity, will never end," he said.

Mr Samson Lokeris, the former MP for Dodoth East, said the situation requires the attention of the President.

"It's only the president who has known the Karimojong properly that's why he was able to collect many guns during disarmament so I believe if the president himself could get to the ground everything will be sorted," he said.

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