The Fifth Infantry Division Commander, Brig. William Bainomugisha said that he wasn’t aware of the reported entry of rustlers in Agago running away from the ongoing operations in Karamoja. He however says in any case if the rustlers sneak across the border, they would be repulsed with force due to the heavy deployment of UPDF soldiers along the Agago, Karamoja border.
Agago Resident District Commissioner, Andrew Onyuk acknowledges the contribution of the vigilantes in the reduction of animal theft in the district. He says the groups are “alert”, the reason they succeeded in retrieving five cattle in Omiya Pacwa.
Omol says he lost three sacks of maize and two sacks of millet, which he had harvested recently and stored for family consumption. Omol notes that he is now stuck without food and shelter to accommodate his children, saying they are currently surviving on handouts from friends and relatives.
Silvesto Asia Ali, one of the affected Farmers says he lost two hectares of Pumpkins to the stray elephants that invaded his farmland on Monday night.
Some six elephants that reportedly strayed from Kidepo Valley National Park into community farmlands have been terrorizing farming communities in Luyita and Lujim parishes of Omiya Pachwa Sub county.
The oxen and ox-ploughs worth 10.6 million Shillings were purchased two weeks ago to support vulnerable community members in Omiya Pacwa Sub-county under Tic ber, Abicelo Ox-traction and Rwot Omiyo groups.
More than 1,000 youthful vigilantes in Paimol sub-county, one of the areas frequented by the cattle thugs early this year volunteered to guard their kraals and protect animals from looters. This comes at the backdrop of an increment in cases of cattle theft in the district by warriors from the neighbouring Karamoja region.
"Following timely information from the owner of the animals, we immediately moved into action to intercept the cattle thieves at Lakwa central, Omia Pahcwa Sub County. The cows have been handed over to the owner,” said Lt. Kato.
Brig Michael Kabango, the Fifth Infantry Division Commander says their intelligence indicates that the thieves are using their networks within the communities to easily access community cattle kraals. He questions how the thugs reached the community even after heavy military deployment in the areas of Agago and its porous border point.
According to Otim; an assessment conducted on Saturday estimates that over 300 acres of the crops that majorly include; soya beans, simsim, maize, sunflower, groundnuts, cotton, sorghum and millet were destroyed by the hail storm.
Paimol Sub County Chairperson George William Kilama says 20 men between the ages of 18 and 44 from 68 villages in the sub county have become part of a strong vigilante group protecting cattle in their areas.
Lucky Akello, one of the vendors in Kalongo market told Uganda Radio Network that there has been limited supply of onions by their suppliers for the past weeks. She says unlike in the past when they used to get onion supplies on a daily basis from various suppliers, only a few of them supply them once a week or at times even after two weeks.
Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, says Moto immediately notified the authorities leading to the recovery of the firearms. The guns are believed to have been buried by Lord’s Resistance Army rebel fighters at the height of insurgency in Northern region.