KAABONG – Karamojong cattle rustlers have killed one Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier and drove away unspecified number of cattle in Kaabong district in Karamoja sub region.
The soldier was gunned down on Saturday, May 2 during a five-hour gun battle with the suspected Jie Karamojong cattle rustlers of Kotido who had attacked a protected kraal in Kaabong town council.
Mr. Rex Achila, the Resident District Commissioner Kaabong confirmed the incident describing it as a return of insecurity in Karamoja.
He said the army also managed to put out of action on cattle rustler but the animals could not been recovered after warriors got scattered with animals in the bush.
“The warriors attacked the protected Kraal in Kaabong town council on Saturday at around 11pm and they had a fight with UPDF soldiers that are where one soldier lost his life and one warrior was also killed,” he said.
According to Mr. Achila who also doubles as the chairperson of the district security committee, the security situation has been made worse by some of the local defence unity personnel who seem to be collaborating with the criminals.
He said the army followed the foot marks of animals from Kaabong and they entered in Kacheri Sub County in Kotido district.
“No animal has been recovered but the UPDF is following the animals at close range I believe they will be recovered,” he said.
The recruitment of Karamojong as LDUs was directed by president Museveni during 2010 campaigns with the move to help consolidate the peace achieved by security agencies in the region since the disarmament program started in 2001.
However, leaders have raised several complaints against the LDUs saying they have become part of the cattle rustling community since they stay together with their families while armed.
Mr. Samson Lokeris, the Member of Parliament for Dodoth East in Kaabong district said the continuous raiding in Kaabong by the Jie of Kotido warriors has left the district tormented.
According to Lokeris, from January to date, people of Kaabong have lost over 1,000 heads of cattle with many people killed by the armed Jie community.