“We have put 25 cattle rustlers out of action, just in the month of July, and among the 25 cattle rustlers who was killed by Agago homewards during military pursuit, we have identified two of our own youths among the dead.” The Agago Resident District Commission RDC revealed.
GULU CITY –AUGUST 2023:
The Agago Resident District Commissioners (RDC), the National Resistance Movement NRM cadre describes Karamojong cattle rustling as a woeful human face in the 21st Century in Acholi Sub Region.
Walter Nabinsion Kidega was posted two months ago as the Resident District Commissioner of Agago district as the Karamojong (K’Jong) attack was dire situation. Agago community was living in the bushes at night, for fear of the K’jong as slaughter, looting and mumming was a daily routine.
“When I was posted in Agago almost I shed tears. The community had stopped going to their farms, even movement back and forth, was impossible.” Agago RDC commented.
However, the Resident Commissioners argues that due to his past experience during Lord Resistance Army (LRA) civil strife in Northern Uganda, he had to recruit and deploy 12 Local Defense Forces, the groups of Militia, from each village to support and fight the K’jong new invaders from the East Acholi, sub-Region.
. By the time the Black Star News Correspondent interacted with Nabinsion Kidega in August this year, he claimed that the Karamojong cattle raid was under control because when they have deployed Local Defense Units(LDUs), they managed to put out of action/ slain 25 K’jong warriors, and the situation was still calm.
Surprisingly the Agago RDC, revealed that they discovered two bodies among the 25 slain cattle raiders that were of their own people from the community of Agago as they were dressing in the same K’jong warriors’ attire, but they have smooth body compared to that of the K’jong whose skin was rougher.
“I saw some of our people in the group when we were perusing cattle rustlers who had just looted cattle in Adilang Sub County in the night. I witnessed some people’s tears roll down their cheeks as others wail openly when we were burring the two cattle rustlers who hailed from Agago community. We called them collaborators, the way they were buried we knew, defiantly we have discovered there are many of them who coordinates cattle raids.” Nabinson Kidega revealed.
He added, “we have reached 70 percent to know who our enemies are, the boys who dress in Karamojong warriors’ raid attire. We have marked and arrested them. The situation is now calm and within a month the Karamojong raiders would be history.”
The Agago Resident District Commissioner, Kidega Nabinsion suggested that the way forward is to seek dialogue with the Karamojong raiders especially the Jee community of Karamojong.
Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, State Minister for Northern Uganda has revealed to Northern Uganda Media Club, NUMEC that the government of Uganda planned to create security road along the buffer zone between East Acholi, Agago and Kitgum districts as part of scaling cattle rustlings by the Karamojong worries.
“We are going to open roads along the buffer zone, right up from Abim district passing Adilang, Lira Kato, Kokil, Omiya-Pacwa and Orom Sub-Counties which will be connected to Kidepo National Game Park.” Grace Kwiyucwiny revealed during press conference held in the Prime Minister Office in Gulu.
Grace Kwiyucwiny, when contacted by the Black Star News Correspondent to answer the question about allegation that the MP for Jee clan, one of the Karamojong ethnic groups which is alleged to heading cattle raids in Acholi Sub-region.
The state minister for Northern Uganda said she is not in position to answer or reveal the name because she is not well informed, “I need more clarification and to verify that information, but if such an incident in taking place, then we are sorry.”
David Pulkol, the current Technical Advisor to both the Northern Uganda Sate Minister Grace Kwiyucwiny and Gen. Salim Saleh, and also the former Director General of External Security Organization ESO denied the information from the Karenga MP, of Karamoja Sub-region who is alleged to be one of the aiders of cattle rustling in other regions.
“Karamoja cattle rustling needs new approach, not only disarmament, but we need to engage with the neighboring communities within the region.” Pulkol advised.
Ojok Opiyo Aleo, the Agago District Chairman during his presentation at Bomah Hotel in Gulu narrates that, the current raids in Agago and Kitgum districts have claimed over 150 lives of his people and his own people are the ones who are disguising as cattle raiders, because there are groups of women who come in their area pretending to be seeking for casual labor, and they move in groups.
The Agago District Chairman shunned the Acholi Leadership meeting when revealed that, members of community who live together with them, some of them are connected to the rustlers. They are the one who call them to reveal where cattle are.
“One day when cattle were raided from Adilang Sub -County, the UPDFs and Local Defense Unites (LDU) which I was part of when we recovered the animals. We got the person with the cattle. However, when we demanded for his phone, he was resisting. But the person whose cattle we got forcefully grabbed the phone and what we discovered from the phone were telephone numbers of his contact from Adilang Sub County, which confirmed that some contacts are with us.
“I believe that those are the groups of Karamojong spies who are in the look out and report back the position of the animals in our areas, because the latest cattle raiders were also killing and looting our property.” The Agago District Chairman informed the gathering.
According to the Karenga District Chairman, Felix Lochaale during the meeting called by Karamoja Sub-region asked government of Uganda to embrace the disarmament of the mind as a possible lasting solution to the security that will be prevailed in the region.
“Karamojong warriors must not be only disarmed by withdraw of guns, but also with mindset change. Our warriors are engaged in cattle raiding because it is an issue of property, lack of what to do and it they could be utilized in productive ventures such as skilling programs, they will abandon the raids. When people are disarmed, they must find an alternative way of life; If we can drag the youth between 15-25 years to boarding schools, we shall destroy this warrior thing”?
He adds that for youths to leave cattle rustling, government should open boarding schools in all the districts in Karamoja to allow youths who are from 15- to 25 years old be taken back to school.
Paul Lotee Komol, the District Chairman of Kotido appealed to the government to give Statehouse scholarship under affirmative action ticket.
“This is the way of negotiating program for the youths to abandon cattle raids.” Lotee Komol added.