- October 6, 2021
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Police deploy choppers to curb cattle rustling in Karamoja region
Police have deployed two choppers to boost operations to curb cattle rustling in Karamoja region.
“Police in Karamoja have received two helicopter choppers to used for surveillance and tracking of cattle rustlers during this period of disarmament operations,” the Karamoja police spokesperson, MikeLongole said on Wednesday.
“We want to thank the Inspector General of Police for this initiative, we feel we have been energized to do work with the help of this equipment,” he added.
The police are said to be finalizing plans to deploy at least 2500 more Anti-stock Theft Unit personnel as security intensifies operations in Karamoja.
The second phase of the Disarmament exercise is jointly being implemented by the police and army since it was launched on July 17 2021. So far 87 guns and 860 rounds of ammunition have been recovered from rustlers.
The deployment of choppers and more troops in Karamoja follows a recent meeting between President, Yoweri Museveni and Karamoja leaders over the rising insecurity in the region. Karamoja region had enjoyed peace for 14 years after the successful disarmament carried out between 2003 to 2008.
However, in 2019, the region was dragged back to the previous years of insecurity when rustlers resumed raids and ambushes. Gorret Nangiro, one of the residents of Ngoleriet sub-county in Napak district hailed the deployment of more troops in the region.
“We have seen the deployment of troops and helicopters in the region but my question is how sustainable will it be because tomorrow you will find the forces removing the soldiers and police leaving room for the rustlers to execute their mission,” she said.
Moses Lomongin, another resident said the only solution to end violence in Karamoja is through psychological disarmament and compulsory education for children in the region.
“Am telling you the government will continue spending a lot of resources pacifying Karamoja for a short period but stable peace will only return to Karamoja when Karimojong children are forcefully taken to School and government does psychological disarmament,” he said.
Titus Lokwang, a peace activist and resident of Lorengedwat sub-county in Nabilatuk district laughed off of the food approach proposed by the State Minister for Karamoja affairs Agnes Nadutu to lure the warriors to hand over guns.
Two weeks ago, Nadutu promised to give a bag of maize to whoever surrenders a firearm, which Lokwang describes as a waste of time and resources. “That would mean promoting criminality because everyone will run and acquire a gun cheaply. He comes and hands over twice you give him one bag of maize where is that money coming from?” he asked.
According to Lokwang, the government needs to be tough on Karimojong and treat them as other people found in possession of illegal arms.