Religious leaders under their
umbrella body the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative - ARLPI have called
on leaders from Karamoja and Acholi to unite inorder to fight renewed cattle theft.
The clerics made the call on
Friday in Agago district during a security meeting convened by ARLPI. The meeting involved security
personnel and local leaders from Kitgum and Agago in East Acholi, Karenga,
Kabong, Kotido and Abim in Karamoja region.
The development comes amidst resurgence of cattle theft in the sub counties of Lapono, Paimol, Adilang and Omiya Pachwa in Agago district, Namokora and Orom sub counties in Kitgum by armed Jie warriors from Kotido District.
Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese Dr.
John Baptist Odama, also the Vice Chairperson of ARLPI told the leaders during
the meeting that through unity, the two sides will realize a quick end to the
ongoing cattle thefts.
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Archbishop Odama says leaders
from the two sides should now start engaging in dialogue to promote harmony and peace whose ultimate goal is to fight insecurity.
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He however notes that there is
need to have a mindset change among the community of Karamoja especially among
the Jie tribe in Kotido though extensive sensitization and education for
alternative livelihood source.
His remarks follow series of blames
heaped on leaders in Kotido district on their lack of seriousness in
coordinating with neighboring districts in Karamoja and Acholi to fight cattle
theft by Jie warriors.
For instance, Rex Aachilla,
Kabong Resident District Commissioner says some leaders in Kotido district have
been fueling theft of cattle openly and remained reluctant to turn in criminals to their neighbors for reprimand. He says
a lot needs to be undertaken to bring on board such leaders to work together
for common interest of curbing cattle theft within karamoja and neighboring
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Kitgum Resident District
Commissioner, William Komakech, called for strengthening of coordination among
leaders in Kotido District in the wake of influx of Jie warriors in the
district which has led to loss of cattle and lives.
At least 102 cattle and 11 goats
were stolen from farmers in Orom sub county during the COVID-19 lockdown period, while
two people were also shot dead in June this year by armed Jie warriors.
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Komakech says killing of locals
by the warriors and consequential shooting dead of some of the warriors during
fire exchanges with security personnel is straining relationships in the two
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Brig. William Bainomugisha, of the fifth
Infantry Division Commander says the army has now commenced the second phase of
ensuring stability in Karamoja through regular engagements with local leaders having
successfully disarmed them in the past years.
The religious leaders and
security personnel during the meeting made some key resolutions among them conducting
regular meeting, formation of peace committees in Acholi and karamoja, opening
of access roads on porous borders used by warriors and involving cultural
leaders to end cattle theft.