Violence in Karamoja Region: Teacher Becomes Victim of Ongoing Tensions
In the quiet and serene village of Namekwi, in Napak district, an incident occurred that shook the local community and added to the growing insecurity in the region.
Simon Peter Ilukol, a dedicated schoolteacher at Lomerimong Primary School, met a tragic end on the morning of October 27, 2023, when he was shot dead by armed thugs. This unfortunate incident is just one in a series of violent encounters that have plagued the area.
Simon Peter Ilukol, a resident of Namekwi village, Nawaikorot parish, Ngoleriet Sub County in Napak, fell victim to this escalating violence. The attackers, who are yet to be identified, descended upon Nagul’angolol village at approximately 1:00 am. However, they were met with resistance from the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) on patrol. In the ensuing conflict, one of the attackers, Moses Keno from Okitareng village, Nakayopo parish, Kosike Sub County in Nabilatuk district, lost his life as the army effectively dispersed the gang.
As the criminals retreated from the military’s response, they entered Namekwi village. There, they encountered Simon Peter Ilukol, who had emerged from his house to investigate the disturbance in the early hours of the night. Tragically, Ilukol was shot and died instantly. The Karamoja Police public relations officer, Mike Longole, stated that the gang had initially attempted to steal animals in Nagul’angolol village but had been thwarted by the armed forces. Their retreat led them into Namekwi village, where the fatal encounter took place.
Moreover, the security situation remains highly volatile. On a different occasion, gun-wielding and bow-and-arrow-wielding criminals attacked the home of the village chairperson for Naronit, Kidom Lomuria, on a Thursday evening.
The assailants struck at around 9:00 pm, invading his home and making off with ten goats. Along the way, they abandoned four of the animals and roasted one for supper during the night. The remaining animals’ whereabouts remain unknown, as the joint security forces are conducting operations to track down the criminals, who are suspected to have crossed into Moroto district.
In light of the ongoing security concerns, local authorities and the police are urging residents in affected villages to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities. Thuggery and violence have prompted many to flee their homes, and the communities are on edge. Over 600 people have been displaced in the districts of Nabilatuk and Napak, with the marauding criminals responsible for forcing them from their villages.
Recent attacks have compounded the issue, with three villages targeted in two separate incidents on October 25, 2023. These attacks involved the theft of over 90 goats and resulted in the tragic killing of a 68-year-old man from Lomunit village in Lotome Sub County, Napak district.