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Local Leaders Petition Gulu RCC Over Growing Criminal Gangs

Gulu City has dozens of hotspot areas across the 128 villages in Pece – Laroo and Bardege - Layibi Divisions that include Go-Down, Industrial Area, Kasubi, For God, Kirombe in Kabedopong, St. Mauritz Trading Centre, Unyama, Cuk Pa Atuku and Cenyjere are hideouts for the wrongdoers.
15 Nov 2021 09:21
Some of the suspected criminals arrested by police backed by the military during joint operation in Gulu City on 6 November 2021. Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 4

Local council leaders in Gulu have petitioned the Resident City Commissioner – RCC over mushrooming criminal gangs masterminding insecurity in the city suburbs.  

Following the closure of education institutions due to the extended lockdown imposed by the Government to contain the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, idle and unemployed youths have resorted to theft, rape and burglary among others for survival.

There are dozens of hotspots in Gulu city across 128 villages in Pece – Laroo and Bardege - Layibi Divisions. These include Go-Down, Industrial Area, Kasubi, For God, Kirombe in Kabedopong, St. Mauritz Trading Centre, Unyama, Cuk Pa Atuku and Cenyjere, which are hideouts for the wrongdoers.

Walter Nyero Atekilwak, the LC 1 Chairperson of Bwobo village, says that due to the intolerable criminal behaviour of his own son and his accomplices, he sought police intervention to arrest them to face corrective measures.

//Cue in; “Idwee mukati…

Cue out…iyoo maracu.”//

Jimmy Ocitti, the Pece-Lukung Village LC 1 Chairperson, says that the threats from the criminal youth gangs in the area are intensifying. He says that local leaders who report the criminals to police have become soft targets for deadly reprisal attacks. 

//Cue in; “These boys have…..

Cue out…boys attacked him.”//

Florence Angee, the Agwee village LC 1 Chairperson in Laroo-Pece Division explained that her area has several errant youths who can no longer be restrained or disciplined by their parents and thus require the long arm of the law to deal with them. 

//Cue in; “Atye ki lutinoe….. 

Cue out…aye oti kedgi.”//

Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, David Ongom Mudong said they arrested 147 suspected criminals including five commercial sex workers during their nightlong security clampdown on November 5th, 2021 during a joint intelligence-led security operation backed by the military.

He explains that a daylong screening exercise involving local leaders, they released 81 suspects and detained 66 of them. He says that their files are now before the Resident State Attorney for legal advice. 

The Resident City Commissioner, Denis Odongpiny, who also doubles as the City Security Committee Chairperson confirmed to URN that Local Council leaders including concerned residents have implored his office to enhance regular night patrols to rid the area of bad elements.

//Cue in; “Following reports of…

Cue out…even about to die.”//

The-criminal gang members hide in dark spots to smoke opium, waylay their victims and snatch their valuables such as handbags and phones. They vanish with their loot to the Central Forest Reserve near Gulu University.