The joint security forces comprising the army and police killed 20 Karimojong cattle rustlers during their disarmament operations in the Karamoja region last week.

The joint security forces comprising the army and police killed 20 Karimojong cattle rustlers during their disarmament operations in the Karamoja region last week. 

Micheal Longole, the Karamoja Regional Police Spokesperson told our reporter in an interview on Monday that the rustlers were gunned down in gunfire exchanges with the security forces while trying to stop them from cattle raids across the region.

“From March 20 to 27 , a total of 20 cattle rustlers were put out of action and four guns recovered from them,” he said. He explains that the grace period that the security forces gave the rustlers to surrender their firearms elapsed, adding that the forces have now escalated their efforts to collect illegal firearms in Karamoja using all possible means available.

“We gave these warriors ample time to hand over their guns voluntarily but they paid deaf ears and continued killing people so we have taken tough steps against them,” he said.  This comes a few days after the rustlers gunned down three geologists and their two UPDF escorts in Lokisilei village in Lotisan sub-county in Moroto district.

Our sources have learnt that since that incident, the forces on the ground have become more aggressive toward the armed rustlers. Moses Dengel, a peace activist and resident of Rupa sub-County says that the forces need to go slow, adding that they will end up killing the entire Karamoja. 

“What I would request our forces is to focus on more sensitisation, use the elders and local artists and women they will do a better in recovering these guns,” he said. Grace Tebanyang, a resident of Loputuk village in Loputuk sub-county in the Moroto district, says that the best way to end gun violence in Karamoja is for the government to deploy heavily around the borders. 

“These guns are got from Kenya and South Sudan and to make things worse is that these rustlers just cross freely and get guns from these neighbouring countries,” she said. 

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