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.
Sebirumbi was picked up together with Frederick Nyamisogola, the Officer in Charge of Criminal Intelligence at Patongo Police station and Deputy Scene of Crimes Officer (SOCO) Solomon Nasimolo following accusations f Unlawful arrests and detention of suspects, extortion, torture, and selling of impounded motorcycles.
On Tuesday morning, hundreds of the aggrieved locals majority of whom are Boda Boda operators staged protests within Patongo Town Council and at Patongo Police station to demand the release of one of their colleagues who was allegedly arrested by police and detained him for five days without being produced in court.
Yunus Sedirumbi, the officer-in-charge of Patongo Police Station confirmed Laboke’s arrest to URN. She declined to reveal more details and referred our reporter to Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson.
Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson told URN in an interview that the bags of charcoal were impounded and burnt down from Rugu –rugu Village, Adilang Sub –County in Agago district.
John Amos Okot, the MP Elect for Agago North says wants the government to arm the groups with guns to protect their animals since the Karamojong rustlers have now resorted to using guns while carrying out their operations.
Sources privy to the incident disclosed to URN that Otim’s attempt to end his life could be a result of frustration after failing to make it among LDU’s being integrated into the mainstream Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF.
Thomas Ojok Akala, Wol Sub-county LCIII Chairperson in his report to the police on Friday noted that the deceased and the suspect had been engaged in cutting trees for producing charcoal in Atut parish.
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.
Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech says lack of access roads along porous border points between Kitgum, Agago and Karamoja region have created safe haven for the thugs over the years.
"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.
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.