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Vigilante group commandant killed by cattle rustlers in Agago

FILE PHOTO: Karamoja is awash with guns among rustlers

Agago, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Suspected Karamojong cattle rustlers have shot and killed a vigilante group commandant in Agago district.

The deceased has been identified as David Ogwang, a resident of Pakodongo village, Parabongo sub county who was shot dead on Sunday at the foothills of Ogili hills.

The deceased who was formerly an LCI chairperson was nominated commandant due to his experience after voluntarily joining the vigilante group following repeated incursions by the suspected armed rustlers from the Karamoja sub-region.

The vigilante groups consisting mainly of youths armed with bows and arrows were instituted earlier this year in the most affected sub-counties bordering the Karamoja districts to help coordinate and direct the military while in pursuit of the rustlers in their areas.

The Parabongo sub county LC-III chairperson Stephen Ocen confirmed the incident saying the deceased was shot while leading a group of vigilantes and the army who were in pursuit of the suspected rustlers following reports by locals of their presence in the area.

According to Ocen, area residents who had earlier gone to harvest Sheanut reportedly spotted some belongings of a suspected cattle rustler abandoned under a tree which prompted them to notify the authorities.

Ocen says that upon receipt of the news about the presence of the warriors in the area, the vigilante groups made a pursuit which led them into an ambush laid by the cattle rustlers who fired live bullets killing him instantly.

Agago Deputy Resident District Commissioner James Cosmas Okidi says that the civilian population should desist from attempts of pursuing the rustlers without the presence of the army.

Okidi however says that the army has since been deployed in the areas surrounding Ogilli hills and they spent the better part of Monday in pursuit of repulsing them from their hideout.

According to local residents, the suspected warriors have taken advantage of the Ogilli hills that cover the sub-counties of Parabongo, Wol and Paimol as a hideout where they coordinate their raid activities.

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