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Moroto names 28 suspected cattle rustlers

DIGP Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi presided over a symbolic function where 378 illicit small arms and light weapons recovered from Karamoja sub-region, Northern region, Rwenzori region and Kampala Metropolitan areas, were destroyed in Kotido District. PHOTO POLICE UG

Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | In an effort to recover the remaining illegal firearms in Karamoja, Moroto district authorities have outed a list of twenty-eight suspected cattle rustlers with illegal guns. The list was generated by the Internal Security Organization.

Currently, the district authorities and joint security forces are conducting security meetings across all sub-counties in the district. In the meeting, the officials read out the names of warriors suspected of owning illegal firearms to ease their identification.

George William Wopuwa, the Moroto Resident District Commissioner (RDC), says that they resolved to expose those with illegal firearms so that the communities pressurise them to surrender them.

‘’We had a meeting with ISO and they came up with the list of suspected cattle rustlers, we had two options which included hunting for those criminals whose names appear on the list, or exposing their names to the public,’’ Wopuwa said.

Wopuwa said that they thought that it was better to expose the suspects so that the community gets to know them and helps security to hunt for the criminals.

John Robert Adupa Akiki, the LC 3 chairperson of Lotisan sub-county in Moroto district welcomed the decision to expose the names of the suspects because it helps to remove doubt and accusations levelled against the leaders for conniving with cattle rustlers.

Adupa says it’s good to name the suspects publically so that the community gets to know the wrong elements in their society.

However, the local councillors in Nadunget and Lotisan sub-counties have opposed the move, saying that the decision of exposing the names of suspected criminals will make them disappear with the guns because they know that their details have been revealed.

Paul Miki Komol, the Kidepo parish councillor in Lotisan sub-county, said that it’s better for security to use their intelligence to hunt and arrest the suspects than later expose them to the public.

Mustafa Ayaa, the councillor of Naitakwea parish in Nadunget sub-county noted that the system is more likely to disorganize the ongoing disarmament exercise.  He said that exposing criminals will prompt them to hide their guns because they know security has known their secrets.

URN has also learnt that the disarmament exercise seems to have met resistance as a section of Karamojong warriors in Kotido district threatened not to hand over guns to the government if there is no plan to buy from them.

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