Local leaders in Kotido say that the residents have evacuated their homes and moved to sother sub counties to live with relatives, friends or in-laws for fear of being subjected to forceful disarmament that is currently on going in the sub region. Others have taken refuge in Kotido town, leaving only the elderly, the disabled and local council officials in the villages.
The 16 were apprehended today, Sunday in Nadunget Sub County during a peaceful identification exercise for over 1,700 impounded cattle from Kodonyo and Napar-Kwangan parishes in Lopuyo Sub County, Moroto district.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF Spokesperson Brig. Flavia Byekwaso says that Muganga was arrested by a joint security force team last evening from the Victoria University offices in Kampala. She, however, dismissed reports that Muganga had been kidnapped.
The public has expressed fear about the safety and security situation on some of the roads following ambushes against civilians and security personnel. One of the attacks claimed the life of Abraham Lomongin, a former worker with UNICEF who was shot dead around Rikitae in Kotido just after Toror hills.
The 3rd Division Spokesperson, Captain Edrin Mawanda, says that some of the suspects were captured during combat while others were arrested based on intelligence reports indicating that they have illegal firearms, which is a capital offence and attracts a long sentence if found guilty.
The 12 lorries are being held at Nakapiripirit Central Police Station where the animals are being inspected as the communities in Lorengedwat in Napak district where a recent raid was reported are being called to come and try to identify their animals.
During the first disarmament process that ushered a window of peace for at least 10 years, there were some reports that the soldiers used inhumane methods including torture in order to make residents disclose where they kept the illegal guns, and some have reportedly suffered permanent disabilities and deformities while others reportedly died.
"I had surgery last evening and one of the bullets was removed. However, because of how the other bullet affected my arteries, it was not removed, and the doctors will advise on the way forward,” General Katumba posted on his Twitter account.
The police and military agencies have been repeatedly accused of killing more than 100 people in November 2016, when their forces descended on the Rwenzururu Palace, at the climax of long-standing tension, between the government of Uganda and the Rwenzururu Kingdom, the home of the ethnic Bakonzo community.
The search was conducted in the kraals of Naregai village when UPDF followed cattle raiders who attacked kraals in Nadunget Sub County, Moroto district on Wednesday. The cattle were recovered from the kraals in Rikitai in Kotido district on Thursday.