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Armed Turkana pastoralists arrested in Moroto district

Turkana pastoralists detained by joint security forces. URN photo

Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Joint security forces have arrested eight-armed Turkana pastoralists in Moroto district. The suspects were found in possession of six guns. The armed Turkana are suspected to be part of the rustlers terrorizing Karamojong pastoral communities, which prompted security to round them up from the grazing area.

Maj Isaac Oware, the UPDF 3rd division spokesperson says that they picked up the suspects on March 30, 2022, during their operation around the border areas. He says that the suspects are in custody at the UPDF 3rd division headquarters in Moroto pending further investigations.

According to Oware, the Turkana herdsmen were allowed to cross to Uganda to graze their cattle but unfortunately, they were conniving with the Matheniko of Moroto to raid other communities.

“The Turkana have always violated these arrangements as they cross over with their guns, they connive with the Matheniko and raid their business. Since the killing of three officials from the Ministry of Energy and two UPDF soldiers, we intensified our operations to make sure that these criminals are brought to book,’’ Oware said.

Oware says that the suspects will appear in the divisional court-martial for illegal possession of firearms.

John Robert Adupa, the LC3 chairperson of Lotisan sub-county in Moroto district accuses the Turkana pastoralists of carrying out the attacks, which have caused serious conflict between the Karamojong and security forces.

In September 2019, President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta met in Moroto district where they signed an MOU dubbed “cross border sustainable peace and development” to end hostilities among the three neighbouring communities of Uganda, Turkana and Pokot in Kenya and enhance development in the region by promoting non violent interactions and collaborations.

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