By Steven Ariong
KOTIDO: Residents of Panyangara in Kotido municipality on celebrating after the joint security personnel gunned down the most wanted commander of Karimojong rustlers.
Tom Lopus who was regarded as the top most commander for the Karimojong rustlers in the entire Kidepo region was shot dead with two of his body guards during a long gun battle with the joint security in Loputuk village, Lodera parish in Panyangara sub county in Kotido district.
Brig Joseph Balikudembe the UPDF 3rd division commander said the ring leader of the rustlers had resisted arrest.
“Our personnel had gone to arrest him and recover guns in his possession but as soon as he saw our soldiers he started shooting at them forcing our soldiers to respond and he was put out of action”- Balikuddembe has told this publication.
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Balikudembe further says the interest of government in Karamoja is peace warning that they will not accept Karamoja to be taken back to the previous situation.
While Brig Felix Busizoori the deputy 3rd division commander says the only solution of the people of Karamoja is to send children to school.
“I want to urge my elders in Karamoja to remove their children from grazing animals and send them to school, it’s only education that can end criminality in Karamoja”-Busizoori advised.
Erias Kasirabo the commander of anti stock theft unit personnel (ASTU) which is jointly working with UPDF to pacify the region has assured the country that the current force in Karamoja has a mandate to end criminality in Karamoja.
He’s further advised the public that whatever incidents happens in Karamoja are isolated incidents that should not scare business because the forces on ground are on top of the situation.
Ambrose Onoria the resident district commissioner Kotido says the killing of the most notorious ring leader of rustlers will now kill the moral of others from carrying out raids.
“We need peace, not war but peace because government is already investing a lot in Karamoja but because of these incidents, its affecting the development results”-Ambrose revealed.
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