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HomeNATIONALASTU Police Breaks Through a Chain Of Teso, Karamoja Commercial Cattle Theft

ASTU Police Breaks Through a Chain Of Teso, Karamoja Commercial Cattle Theft

KARAMOJA: When cattle rustling intensified  in Karamoja in the last three year’s, it gave President  Museveni a serious headache with  many political leaders in the region blaming the UPDF force which was the only force deployed to stop the raiding.

Yes the force  could try to engage the Karimojong warriors carrying out the act but there was one single room which UPDF could not detect is the movement of cattle stolen. These rustlers had developed a serious collaboration with traders from Teso, Sebei, Bugisu and Acholi region where by these traders enter in Karamoja and load cattle at ungazetted zones that were not cattle markets.

To make things worse, most district veterinary officials were part of the criminal racket who also shamelessly issued fake movement permits to the traders even when they knew that the cattle was stolen. The UPDF could not pay much attention to check on these movement of cattle, because they were taken up by physical engaging of raiders at the kraals where they could go and steal.

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But through various consultations, in his presidential state lodge in Morulinga in Napak district,  president Museveni discovered that there was a security gap which needed  more man power to deal with the vice. President Museveni having gone through his lens quickly directed for the deployment of Anti Stock Theft Unit force, one of the force in Police which is responsible of dealing with animals thefts.

More than 4,000 ATSU personnel were deployed in Ksramoja and they are still in Karamoja.

When the personnel were deployed in the region, before they formed joint operations with UPDF, the commandant of the force Senior commissioner of Police Erias Kasirabo started traversing the entire region of about 15 districts boarding Karamoja and also discovered the tactics how the animals from Karamoja get out.

He quickly removed all the ASTU personnels who were deployed in other parts of the country and took them to Karamoja, deployed them in the strategic areas including mounting heavy  checkpoints to verify the how genuine are the animals being transported out of Karamoja.

Kasirabo with the team of police led by Regional police commanders of Kidepo region and Mt Moroto region both located in Karamoja discovered that despite the presence of road blocks, but still the animals were still being sold and moved at night even when the animals law does not permit any movement of animals at night.

Kasirabo, summoned all the sector commanders of ASTU for the round table discussion, this discussion also involved the UPDF commanders and come up with the resolution of getting to know the rightful established cattle markets in Karamoja, but surprisingly the force was shocked to learn that the official establish cattle markets were not being used for trading the animals instead the raiders and cattle traders had established their own illegal  markets where they sell quickly the stolen animals, making it hard for the UPDF tracking animals to recover them.

So what did Mr.Kasirabo do with his team on this was  to shut down all these illegal markets and also block all the routes and allow only one single route for traders to use while transporting animals  out of Karamoja.

The traders who buy animals from south Karamoja, that’s Amudat, Nabilatuk and Nakapiripirit have to pass through Moroto where the animals are verified thoroughly before they are allowed to cross to Teso. The ASTU manning the check points checks whether the animals being transported are really have no problem or they are sold genuinely.

Same to traders, who buy animals from Kotido use the same rout.

At first no body would believe that, the ASTU personnel will get rid of this criminal stealing and transporting of these animal’s but now the pleasing results are openly seen.

This publication has learnt that, cattle rustlers and their illegal traders have lost the battle of stealing and transporting the animals quickly outside Karamoja, however this publication noted that although there’s still small pockets of cattle theft going on, but these animals are being kept in the  bushes within Karamoja where the joint forces of Army and ASTU rush to recover them quickly.

Mr.Kasirabo, told this publication that the Karimojong should just accept to stay in peace adding that the interest of ASTU in Karamoja is to ensure that Karamoja is free from cattle raiding.

“Where here to ensure that this part of the country is peaceful nothing else”-he said.

Brig.  Felix Busizoori the deputy 3rd commander said the problem affecting Karamoja affects the entire country and urged the political leaders, religious leaders and other stake holders to join the forces to end criminality in Karamoja.

Mr. Francis Chemusto, the Mt Moroto regional police commander said they have embarked on community sensitization the dangers of being a criminal. With now the deployment of Major Gen. Don William Nabasa who has, the  effort has been boosted and the region is registering some relative peace.

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