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Karamoja MPs call for new approach to tackle insecurity

Members of Parliament from Karamoja region meeting with the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs chaired by Rosemary Nyakikongoro.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament from Karamoja region have called for a review of the security strategy for the area following increased insecurity characterized by cattle rustling.

The MPs were on Tuesday, 7 December 2021 appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs chaired by Rosemary Nyakikongoro, the Sheema District Woman representative.

The MPs who interacted with the committee said the security situation in Karamoja was failing and government needed to devise a new approach.

Achia Remigio, Pian County MP said there is need for government to commit to protecting Karamojong who face the danger of starvation, poverty and sickness. He explained that the Karamojong cannot sleep at night and that they are also failing to herd their cattle because of cattle rustling by warriors from neighboring Kenya, including the Pokot, Toposa, raiders from Somalia and South Sudan.

“For the first time in Karamoja, they are asking for food relief from government because people are starving. People are dying. We want protection. I have a house in town which has become a community kraal and I have two policemen protecting me,” he said.

He noted that as far as resources are concerned, the soldiers on ground are overstretched and cannot prevail over the cattle rustling and insecurity.

“In Karamoja, you need dessert shoes but the soldiers have the wrong shoes. The soldiers don’t have fuel to maneuver the terrain; it is MPs now fueling cars to track for stolen cattle,” he added.

Philips Lokwang, the MP Napore West said Karamoja should be given the justice that it deserves. He said if government is unable to protect the community, local militia should be employed to deal with cattle rustlers because the situation is getting out of hand.

Sylvia Vicky Awas, the District Woman MP Nabilatuk, said raids are carried out even in the barracks and recovered cattle go missing.

“These officers need to be transferred, cattle recovered is disappearing from the barracks even from the custody of security, they are failing to retrieve stolen cattle,” she noted.

John Bosco Ngoya, the MP Bokora County in Napak said several meetings have been held with key stakeholders to no avail. He said the criminals have become very resilient and are attacking day and night.



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