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Karamojong Elders Wants Amnesty For Moroto Prison Escapees :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Karamojong Elders Wants Amnesty For Moroto Prison Escapees

During a meeting with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, held at Baralegi State Lodge in Otuke District, the elders presented a petition stating that the escapees are involved in recruiting individuals, which escalates cattle rustling.

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Elders and political leaders from Karamoja have appealed to the government to grant amnesty to the Moroto prison escapees in order to address the persistent cattle rustling in the region and neighboring districts. On September 16, 2020, at least 220 inmates overwhelmed the warders at Singila prison in Moroto, broke into the armory, and fled with 15 guns toward Mt. Moroto.

Some of the escapes were gunned down, others re-arrested while others are still at large to date. Now, during a meeting with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, held at Baralegi State Lodge in Otuke District, the elders presented a petition stating that the escapees are involved in recruiting individuals, which escalates cattle rustling.

The elders argued that the escapees are afraid of returning to prison and would be willing to return the stolen guns if their prison sentences are waived. They called for the government to pardon the escapees in order to halt the recruitment of warriors for cattle rustling.  

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Additionally, the elders requested increased deployment of security forces in Jie County, Kotido, which they identified as a hotspot for raiding.

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However, Ben Koryang Baatom, the Dodoth West MP disagreed with granting amnesty to the prison escapees, stating that they should serve their sentences and then return home.

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  President Museveni declined to grant amnesty to the escapees, emphasizing the need to hunt them down and ensure discipline, unless they surrender voluntarily, in which case their surrender would be considered.

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President Museveni did, however, grant full amnesty to the rest of the Karamojong people to surrender their weapons to the military.  

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The president noted that cattle rustling in Karamoja is hindering the development and draining government resources, as significant funds are allocated to purchasing guns, bullets, and ammunition to combat the rustlers.

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Furthermore, Meri Jino Bornd, the Kaabong District LC V chairperson noted that disarming the Karamojong without providing adequate protection is not feasible.

He suggested that the president engages with the Kenyan president to disarm the Turkana people, who frequently cross over to Karamoja to carry out animal raids.

Museveni advised intercepting and punishing the Turkana as soon as they cross into Karamoja.

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