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Farmers in Abim Abandon Gardens Over Insecurity :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Farmers in Abim Abandon Gardens Over Insecurity

According to farmers, despite the military deployment in the district, the Karamojong cattle rustlers have continued terrorizing them from their gardens.
Farmers in Karamoja planting crops in their gardens

Audio 4

Farmers in Abim District have asked the government to tackle insecurity if they are to return to their farmlands.

According to farmers, despite the military deployment in the district, the Karamojong cattle rustlers have continued terrorizing them from their gardens.

Godfrey Okech, a farmer who also doubles as the district councilor representing Alerek Sub County says that the rising insecurity has disrupted farming and this has left many farmers traumatized.

Okech said farmers can no longer go to distant gardens away from their homes because the warriors have resorted to waylaying people along the roads and others have been abducted.

He said the situation has prevailed for a long time and it is affecting agriculture which poses threats of food insecurity.

Okech appealed to the government to come up with strategies to address the problem before planting season ends so that they are able to return back to their garden to produce food for their families.

//Cue in : ‘’with the recent rain…

Cue out: “…are killed already’’.//

Simon Okello, another farmer in Alerek sub-county expressed fears that the increasing insecurity is likely to affect the Parish Development Model-PDM program because they can no longer participate in any productive activity.

Okello said they have suffered a lot and there is no intervention from the government despite many calls they have made to the authorities.

He noted that his family relies on farming as a source of livelihood and the insecurity is exposing them to hunger as they cannot access their gardens to work.

Okello said there is a need for the government to increase manpower on the ground to be able to safeguard the people and their properties.

//Cue in : ‘’I want the government...

Cue out: “…dying day and night’’.// 

Francis Lowoth Okori, the Prime Minister of Ethur Kingdom observed that the hills in Abim district have become the hiding place for the armed warriors.

Okori noted that many people, especially men, have been killed while women were abducted by suspected warriors and some of them were released with bruises on their bodies.

He said the situation has been made worse when the warriors started abducting people, stealing foodstuff, and burning homes.

Okori said that there is a need to reinforce the army and also arm the local communities with at least three guns per village to support the security forces.

//Cue in : ‘’ hills of Abim are…

Cue out: ‘…t is not solving the problem’’.//

James Shilaku, the Abim Resident District Commissioner says that the security situation is characterized by isolated incidences of murder, cattle thefts, arson, and abductions by some wrong elements.

He appealed to the residents to cooperate and share timely information with the security team regarding criminal elements for immediate response.

//Cue in : ‘’ cattle rustling that ……

Cue out : ‘’……..so as to protect them’’.//

Early this week, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces set up the 501 Infantry Brigade in Abim district under the command of Colonel Bernard Kashemeza whereas the 81 Infantry Battalion which previously operated in Abim commanded by Maj Stephen Omonyi has been re-adjusted to cover Agago district.