Joint security forces have recovered 148 firearms from Karamojong warriors since they launched the cordon and search operations across the nine districts in Karamoja. The cordon and search operations started on May 16, 2022, after registering resistance from the armed rustlers.
Michael Longole, the Karamoja regional police spokesperson said that cordon and search operations were going on well, adding that they have so far recovered 148 guns in a period of 40 days. “We would like to appreciate the effort put in by our personnel in the field and the cooperation of some Karamojong leaders who are peace lovers, and more so the community members through our determination that has made us move this far,” he said.
According to Longole, this is not a one-man’s achievement, but rather a concerted effort from all stakeholders in Karamoja. He noted that the visible cooperation between the community and security forces was exhibited on June 23, 2022, at around 11am when the residents of Kanakomol village, Nadunget sub county, Moroto district ganged up and arrested their inlaw by the names James Akol who sneaked in with a gun to the village.
“He tried to resist arrest by firing bullets but the community overpowered him. Later, he was handed over to security forces for prosecution with his gun no. 563001841 without ammunition, “Longole noted. He said this is a clear sign that the community does not want illegal guns among them.
James Koilibi, a resident of Namijimiji village in Nadunget sub-county in Moroto district, says that they are ready to work with security to eliminate rustlers, but they first want assurance from the security forces on their safety.
“The problem we have right now is that our lives are under threat because when these rustlers get to know those who give information to the security, people come and kill them and by the time security responses, it is late,” he said.
Mathew Ilukol, another resident calls upon the security to give the informers maximum protection from the rustlers if they want the community to speak openly. “Sometimes we fear revealing information to security because some of them drink and eat together with the wrong people, so our safety is not guaranteed,” he said.
The general insecurity situation in the region has calmed down following increased security road patrols and operations in the villages.