Lango leaders speak out after arrest in sabotaged anti-Karamojong council meeting

(Last Updated On: 20 April 2023)

Otuke, April 20, 2023: Security personnel has arrested the Otuke district LC5 chairman Francis Abola. The local leader was arrested Thursday afternoon in a botched joint council meeting of Lango districts 

Lango sub-region’s LC5 chairpersons and their speakers were meant to hold a meeting over the theft of animals by Karamojong cattle rustlers.

But they were first blocked from holding the meeting at Acapii primary school. They were told by the RDC and the DPC that they cannot hold the meeting at the said school because it would disrupt studies.

They then opted to use Otuke district council hall where there were altercations between the leaders and security operatives.

Otuke’s Abola was arrested alongside Lira district speaker Morris Adem, Adwir sub-county LCIII chairperson in Alebtong, Paddy Francis Ogwang, Isaac Apenyo, the LCIII chairperson of Omoro in Alebtong, and Peter Obong Acuda, the speaker of Apac district local government.

Police obstructed all the roads leading to Otuke town and forced the above leaders out of their vehicles before they were arrested.

Francis Abola was driven towards Otuke police Central police station while the LCIII chairpersons who had sneaked through feeder roads were arrested while taking tea in a restaurant.

David Kennedy Odongo, the dean of LC5 chairpersons in Lango who convened the meeting, said security has accused them of attempting to use the meeting to incite the community.

“When I arrived, the police told me we shall not have the meeting because it is illegal, they ordered me out of my vehicle and I obliged but when they tried to apprehend me, my driver resisted and we drove away,” Odongo said.

The North Kyoga Regional Police spokesperson, SP Jimmy Patrick Okema said he was not aware of any joint council meeting of Lango leaders in Otuke and did not comment on the arrests of the leaders.

The botched meeting comes after the theft of over 30 cows from Acan-pii village Wednesday night, according to the area LCI chairperson Victor Omara.

Sam Opio, the area LC5 councilor of Acan-pii parish said they have been advised by the army to collectively house their animals in one kraal for better protection by soldiers.

A few days ago, the Lango Parliamentary Group also made a call to President Museveni to intervene and put a stop to the theft of animals by Karamojong who constantly invade the districts of Otuke.

The MPs included Otuke district woman MP Susan Abeja, and Otuke East MP Julius Acon, and their letter was written by LPG Secretary-General also the Kole North MP,  Dr. Opio Samuel Acuti.

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