Masindi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The police in the Albertine have arrested 19 cattle thieves believed to have been terrorizing cattle farmers in the region.
The suspects whose particulars have been concealed for fear of jeopardizing police investigations are being detained at the various police stations across the region including Masindi, Kagadi, Kakumiro, Kiryandongo, Kikuube, Kibaale, and Buliisa among others.
They were reportedly arrested on Sunday during an operation mounted by both the police and the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region Police Spokesperson says that security personnel were compelled to launch an operation following a public outcry about the rampant cases of cattle thefts.
According to Hakiza, the hunt for more suspects is ongoing, and they have mounted several checkpoints in the region to avert crime. He adds that they have intensified their security surveillance network including foot and motorized patrols.
Hakiza says they have received intelligence information that most of the cattle thieves are conniving with herdsmen employed by cattle farmers to sell the animals cautioning farmers to thoroughly scrutinize the people they employ to look after their animals.
Christopher Kyamanywa, a farmer in Kikuube has appealed to the police to stage patrols along various roads such that thieves can be apprehended adding that the situation has compelled most of them to sleep in kraals in order to prevent their animals from being stolen.
Last week, farmers in Bunyoro especially those from Kikuube protested what they called the massive theft of cattle from their area.
Statistics in the district show that in a period of only two weeks, more than 40 cows have been stolen from the district.