Karamoja Exhales: Peace Gradually Returns as Security Operations Intensify

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UPDF soldiers conducting cordoned and search operations, searching for illegal guns in Kotido early this year. (Photo by Steven Ariong)
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Peace is slowly returning to Karamoja following the reduction of cattle rustling and road ambushes by Karimojong pastoralists.

The decrease in cattle raids and road ambushes follows intensified operations by Joint forces, including Astu Police and UPDF. Major James Amuya, the acting UPDF 3rd division spokesperson, stated that rustlers are finding it difficult to continue with their criminal activities amidst the presence of joint forces. He also noted that continuous community dialogue between the joint forces and the community has been a milestone in reducing the problem.

Mr. Michael Longole, the Karamoja regional police spokesperson, mentioned that since the beginning of this month, they have not registered any single disturbing incident of road ambushes and killings, except for a few criminals now breaking into people’s houses looking for food. “Our major highways are now secured because our joint security troops are patrolling day and night,” he said.

Major Isaac Oware, the UPDF 3rd division spokesperson, assured that the joint security forces will continue carrying out operations to ensure that Karamoja becomes the most peaceful region. “Before, we used to register many raids and incidents of road ambushes, but as we speak right now, people are freely moving on the highways, and they meet our soldiers carrying out patrols,” he said.

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Mr. Jino Meri, the district chairperson of Kaabong, acknowledged that some peace has been realized in the region, except for a few hardcore criminals who continue raiding each other, especially in Kotido and Kaabong. “It’s true we are seeing some change, not like the previous time when raids and road ambushes were the order of the day,” he said.

Mr. John Paul Kodet, the district chairperson of Napak, appealed to the security not to relax but to continue pursuing peace in the region. “Right now, we are seeing some peace, not like the previous time, except for only a few burglary cases,” he said.

Mr. Paul Lokol, the district chairperson of Nabilatuk, mentioned that the scaling down of cattle rustling was achieved after elders, with the help of political leaders, took on the role of talking to their children to stop the raids.

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