Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A report on the security status in Karamoja shared to the Inspector General of Police Martin Ochola, shows Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) working alongside Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has killed 10 cattle rustlers and recovered eight Sub Machines Guns in the last three weeks.
The report was compiled by a team headed by police’s director for Operations Service AIGP Edward Osiru Ochom, who has spent several days overseeing the maneuvers. Police and sister security agencies intend to restore normalcy in Karamoja sub region which has been facing serious insecurity as a result of cattle raids that intensified in October last year.
Under the Joint Operations Committee that sits at police headquarters, it was resolved that there was need to deploy a new ASTU team in districts of Kaabong, Moroto, Amudat, Nakapiripirit in order to curtail insecurity.
A 300-strong ASTU team was deployed in different districts of Karamoja as well as parts of Sebei sub region. The new group joined UPDF soldiers as well as the Joint Intelligence groups purposely to reinforce proactive measures against rustlers.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said the new ASTU team which joined others has registered tremendous success in the last 21 days. Enanga said the team has been helped by the canine unit which was also established in Karamoja nearly two months ago.
Enanga added that the canine team has helped to trace cattle raiders and this has resulted into several fire exchange incidents where 10 rustlers have so far been shot dead and five arrested during operations.
Other than eight SMGs recovered and the killed rustlers, ASTU has faced off with armed groups in at least 40 incidents. Security has as a result been able to recover 380 cows and 13 goats in the last three weeks of operations.
Security says most attacks have been as a result of clan revenges especially by the Jie from Kotido and Dodoth from Kaabong. Police and UPDF haven’t lost any personnel in the last weeks of intense crackdown.