Residents Want Army Detach Established over Influx of Cattle Thieves

The Sub-County Chairperson Raymond Otim told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Thursday that the consistent influx of cattle thieves has instilled fears among the livestock farmers in the area.
Cattle recovered by Uganda People Defence Forces-UPDF.
Residents of Morolem village in Agago District have called on the army to establish a detach to help in combating the influx of Karimojong suspected cattle thieves.

The call comes in the wake of a surge in the theft of cattle in the community that neighbours the porous border points with Kotido District. The latest incident happened on Thursday morning in Coodong village, Lojim Parish where one cow was looted, barely a week after armed Karimojong thugs looted 16 cattle in Laita parish from a livestock farmer.

The Sub-County Chairperson Raymond Otim says that the consistent influx of cattle thieves has instilled fears among the livestock farmers in the area.

The affected areas are Coodong village in Lojim parish and Morolem village in Laita Parish which is unmanned corridors frequented by armed thugs according to Otim.

Otim says the community members in a recent security meeting with the army representatives from Labwordwong detach offered an eight-acre piece of Land in Morolem village for the establishment of an army detach.

The area has had Local Defence Unit-LDU personnel in Parts of Morolem village and some presence of Anti-Theft Stock Unit at the Sub-county Headquarters but has not been able to Mann all the porous corridors.

According to Otim, an additional detach in the affected area would help greatly in scaling down cattle theft that has over the years been disrupted livestock farming, among the locals of Omiya Pachwa.

Albert Okeny, a resident of Locken ward in Laita Parish is among some of the locals who lost 16 herds of cattle after armed Karimojong cattle thugs raided his home on Sunday morning.

Okeny who also doubles as the Chairperson of all LCI Chairpersons of Laita Parish says the establishment of the detach will save the community from further losing their livestock which is their only source of livelihood to the Karamojong thugs.

“I believe the establishment of the army detach will be an advantage for our security and the animals we are rearing. These thugs have for long disturbed our peace and farming activities,’ Okeny said.

Andrew Onyuk, the Agago Resident District Commissioner noted that security personnel in the district have been briefed on the plans to establish the detach in the affected areas in Morolem village.

He says the army has also made some inspection at the proposed site but they are yet to make a move.

The Fifth Infantry Division Spokesperson Lt Hassan Kato however says the army isn’t yet aware of the offer of land from the community for an army detach. 

Lt Kato says in the past, the army had attempted to establish a detach in the same area but community members opposed the move over land ownership-related concerns.

He notes that they are yet to get a formal call from the community and the sub-county leaders on the offer.

The sub-counties of Omiya Pacwha, Wol and Adilang, and Paimol have over the years been hotspots for cattle theft carried out by armed cattle thugs from the neighbouring Kotido district. 

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