Kotido, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Personnel of the Anti-Stock Theft Unit, a branch of Uganda Police Force directly handling animal rustling in Karamoja, have tightened security and alertness at their detaches after the Karamojong rustlers resumed their attacks on ASTU detaches in search of guns.
On Friday at 8pm, a group of armed Karamojong rustlers attacked the ASTU detachment in Panyangara sub-county in Kotido district and killed one officer.
Micheal Longole, the Karamoja regional police spokesperson identified the killed officer as Richard Aaku, force number 49256.
He said the officer was shot in front of his uniport as he was coming out to pick up his household items.
Longole said the other personnel reacted and the rustlers took off without taking any single gun.
“When our forces responded, the rustlers had already fled the scene and we suspect they wanted guns,” he said.
This is the third attack on police detaches by the Karamojong rustlers in less than a year.
In January this year, armed Karamojong rustlers, attacked Lokitelaebu Astu detach in Kotido district and killed one person but never succeeded in taking the gun.
In March this year, armed Karamojong attacked Lopei police post in Lopei sub county in Napak district and took off with two fully loaded guns but police recovered the guns without bullets after serious a hunt.
Joseph Komol, the Kotido LCV says as leaders, they will continue supporting the forces to get rid of illegal guns used by criminals to destabilize the region.
Rose Namer, one of the residents of Entebbe ward in Kotido municipality said Kotido has turned out to be the most insecure district in the whole of Karamoja.
“We are really so disturbed because we are not free to do garden work, we are just sitting at home because the gardens have turned to be a battlefields,” she said.
ASTU is backing the UPDF to carry out disarmament in Karamoja.
So far, the joint force has managed to recover 179 guns in the 50 days cordon-and-search operations in the region which returned to insecurity after 15 years of peace after government had successfully collected 49,000 guns in the first disarmament of 2004 to 2008.