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Naming Suspected Criminals Gives Hope to Restoration of Peace in Moroto

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Justin Tuko, the Moroto Deputy Resident District Commissioner, says that they have so far arrested six suspects whose names appeared on the list and they confirmed owning guns. Tuko said one of the suspects was arrested by the community in Loputuk sub-county when he was named in the security meetings.
community gathered during the security meeting in Moroto district.

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Moroto authorities have arrested six suspected cattle raiders whose names appeared on the list of those with illegal firearms. Early this month, Moroto district authorities outed a list of twenty-eight suspected cattle rustlers with illegal guns. 

The suspects were named during Joint security meetings held across all sub-counties in the district. In the meeting officials, read out the names of warriors suspected of illegal firearm possession to ease their identification.

Justin Tuko, the Moroto Deputy Resident District Commissioner, says that they have so far arrested six suspects whose names appeared on the list and they confirmed owning guns. Tuko said one of the suspects was arrested by the community in Loputuk sub-county when he was named in the security meetings.

"The community already knows these people, in Loputuk we read names and they were able to testify, the next day the locals arrested one who also revealed more names that we added on our list," Tuko said.

He said other suspects were arrested by their intelligence team planted in the villages to spy on the movements and the actions of those whose names appeared on the wanted list. He also noted that the Karamojongs have a tendency of concealing information when they realize that the person interrogating them is a non-Karimojong. 

Tuko, however, notes that a good number of firearms would have been recovered by now if the system had been introduced earlier on. He is confident that by the end of July this year they would have arrested all the listed suspects.

//Cue in ‘’ we had a list of 28 our security confirmed’’

Cue out ‘’that one revealed about 12 of them’’.//

James Lomonyang, a resident of Loputuk sub-county told URN on the phone that the approach can work because the warriors seem to be undermining security forces, adding that it’s better to use the community to hunt them down.

Lomonyang said that in Karamoja there's a slogan used in the community "emuk ekile" meaning ''cover the man'', where everyone tends to hide the wrongdoers in the community. 

‘’At least now if they are using this approach I see it's far better, because for us once the community decides to hide a criminal no one will reveal it. So if now they are convinced to expose these criminals, trust me there will be no hiding ground for the warriors," Lomonyang said.

He added that if the government had used this system in the beginning, the insecurity could have been reduced by now because the warriors live within the community and their people would make the environment unsafe for them by exposing their wrong acts. 

Isaac Oware, the UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson appreciated the development, saying it's good to have a collective response to eliminate the illegal firearms from civilians. He said they are working with all the stakeholders to ensure that peace returns to Karamoja so that people can embark on developmental programs. Peace is slowly returning to Karamoja following the reduction of cattle rustling.