Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The UPDF has refuted reports that Moroto-Kotido Road is insecure and assures the public that there is the situation is under control despite isolated incidents.
The public has expressed fear about the safety and security situation on some of the roads following ambushes against civilians and security personnel. One of the attacks claimed the life of Abraham Lomongin, a former worker with UNICEF who was shot dead around Rikitae in Kotido just after Toror hills.
There have also been gunfire exchanges between government troops and warriors within the cattle corridors around Kalosarich which is the border between Moroto, Napak and Kotido districts. On Thursday, an incident was reported where warriors pelted stones at a Post Bank vehicle damaging the windscreen around Toror Hills. On the same day, a motorist was allegedly robbed by suspected warriors before being set free.
Last week, armed warriors attacked a vehicle belonging to the Commandant of the Anti Stock Theft Unit-ASTU while on routine check on personnel in the areas of Kaabong. One Assistant Inspector of Police identified as Lokwii, the commandant Loyoro was shot and injured in the right arm, said police regional Spokesperson Michael Longole in a statement.
But Captain Edrin Mawanda, the 3rd Division Infantry Spokesperson says the road has fully been secured and the public is free to move to and from Kotido after they have beefed up security there. He says there are several motorized patrols on this highway and a security checkpoint has been installed at Kalosarich while their standby forces are on alert.
His comments as NGOs in the region have shied away from implementing their projects in the field without adequate security within the area of implementation. our reporter has observed that a number of NGOs going on long field activities have always sought security from the police following intelligence that Jie and Dodoth warriors have permanently moved to the jungles fearing the ongoing forceful disarmament.
Paul Komollotee, the Kotido District Chairperson disagrees that the road is secure and called up the UPDF to establish detaches at strategic points on the highway. He says there have been several incidents recorded on the highway and according to him, it looks unsafe for now.