Karamojong threats: MP Omara Paul wants local militias recruited – “but it’s not advisable,” says UPDF

Last Updated on: 25th April 2023, 09:07 am

Lira, April 25, 2023: Cattle rustling or terrorization by the Karamoja herding communities has moved a step higher, especially in the Lango sub-region where hundreds of cattle have so far been stolen by the raiders.

The raiders, available evidence shows are armed with guns and they put on military uniforms, traversing the territory they raid from freely.

For years, Karamojong cattle keepers have been moving to Lango and Acholi sub-regions’ Eastern districts where they graze their animals. In many of their visits, they have turned fierce, causing insecurity and later raiding the hosts’ animals.

However, there is another group now coming with Fuso trucks and when they rob, they load the animals and drive back with minimal road checks.

“This is another scheme to make Lango poor, it’s preplanned and we don’t know what they want Lango to be proud of,” a local leader in Otuke district who asked not to be named, said.

The raid has always annoyed Lango leaders, many of whom say the government is sabotaging their efforts to help their communities in the affected districts. A case in point saw their joint district council meeting in Otuke blocked last week by the Police.

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

Call for local militias

In a televised program on NBS, Monday, the Otuke County MP, Paul Omara wants local militias reintroduced to fight local insecurity posed by the Karamoja cattle raiders.

MP Omara who was hosted alongside the UPDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, said, “We (Lango) have reached a point of desperation. When LRA and Lakwena were destabilizing us, we had a local militia called Amuka boys whose commander was Hon. Felix Okot Ogong..”

In his response, Gen. Kulayigye said, “Feasible but not advisable.” With over 500 cattle lost to the raiders, Kulayigye refused to accept it as a “crisis” – adding that “when you are dealing with human beings, you expect some people to err; some get attracted to this thing.”

“This is a matter we must investigate,” he added.

According to Omara, he does not think this is a matter that disturbs the government. “…we have done well in Sudan and Somalia. There is some element in the UPDF sabotaging us,” the Otuke County MP, Omara, added.

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