More Arrests As UPDF Cracks Down on Cattle Thefts In Karamoja

2150 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
Capt. Abert Arinaitwe, the 3rd Division army spokesman, says they are following thieves from their hideouts using intelligence on the ground.

 Uganda People's Defense Forces-UPDF has arrested six more people in the latest crackdown on cattle thefts in Karamoja region. The arrest of the six brings to 14, the number of suspects being held in connection to the fresh round of cattle thefts. Two of the suspects are Local Defense Unit personnel from Kotido district.

 
The army has resorted to the cordon and search operations, which have now extended from Kotido to other parts of Karamoja. The operations led to the recovery of four firearms and 153 cows, 37 goats and six donkeys from various parts of Karamoja last week. 

 
Capt. Abert Arinaitwe, the 3rd Division army spokesman, says they are following thieves from their hideouts using intelligence on the ground. "We launched a cordon and search operations two weeks ago in Kotido but spreads in all these other districts of Karamoja. We follow these thieves up where ever they are and we shall get all of them" Captain Arinaitwe said in a text. 



 
Adding that, "The thieves are armed and usually engage soldiers at every encounter." Capt. Arinaitwe says all the suspects will appear before the 3rd Division Court Martial at unspecified date.

 
Between 1st and 10th January, 511 cows and seven donkeys were recovered in Panyangara and Nakapelimoru sub counties in Kotido district during cordon and search operations. Five people including three suspected warriors and two civilians were killed in a fire exchange with the army.


Capt. Arinaitwe says the cattle thefts are now commercialized and coordinated by thieves outside Karamoja. In Panyangara Sub County, the thieves made away with cows meant for bride price during a traditional marriage over the weekend. The animals are yet to be recovered.


Emmanuel Loki, the Moroto District Male youth councilor, says they are worried for their livestock and lives since the thefts are graduating into raids with arms. He appealed to security agencies especially UPDF to intensify their operations in the cattle corridor.