Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Joint security forces in Karamoja have issued a warning to all people travelling in and out of Karamoja, to avoid night movements as they could easily be mistaken for cattle rustlers and end up being shot.
The warning was made by Mr. Micheal Longole the Karamoja regional police Spokesperson on Sunday in an interview with Daily Monitor.
Mr Longle said the forces have intensified operations and setting up ambushes to deal with the rustlers.
“We are asking the general public to respect the curfew hours, do not move past 9pm in the short cuts or feeder roads because our troops might mistake you as one of the wrong elements,” he said.
According to Mr.Longole, so far three people have been shot dead in cases of mistaken identity by the security forces during their ambushes.
“We have embarked on putting our ambushes everywhere so take care because by that time we don’t expect genuine people to be moving,” he said, advising residents to rather spend at any place that the fall of the night finds them.
Cattle rusttling in Karamoja has for the last eight month intensified with the security officials accusing the some district veterinary officials of collaborating with the raiders.
Despite President Museveni’s visit to the region this weekend, to meet district leaders and commanders on ground, to discuss the resurgence of insecurity in the region, the seemingly unbothered cattle rustlers raided a village near the presidential state lodge in Morulinga in Kangole Town council in Napak District.
Mr Paul Lokutae an elder and a resident of Nabilatuk District proposed that new commanders should be deployed in Karamoja, claiming that those already on ground seem to have lost the direction of fighting against cattle raiders.
“What we are telling the army and we shall still tell them is that you’re fighting a force without a name and they are so intelligent although they have never been to any military school,” he said.
Betty Arukol one of the peace activists and a resident of Rengen in Kotido District said the second phase of disarmament will never yield any result as long as government does not deploy troops along the borders.
“We are talking of disarmament but the Karimojong move freely along the porous borders at their own time right from Kaabong to Sudan, Kotido to Kenya, Moroto to Kenya and Amudat to Kenya without any security personnel yet all our neighboring pastoralists are fully armed,” she said.
According to Ms Arukol deploying heavily along the international borders would help address the situation of insecurity in Karamoja because the warriors would be cut off from neighbouring countries where they reportedly get guns from.