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Amudat District Officials Pinned in Cattle Raids :: Uganda Radionetwork

Amudat District Officials Pinned in Cattle Raids

Nathan Adome, a cattle dealer from Bukedea district alleges that he was contacted by some people saying that they had over 120 cows ready for sale outside the market day.
Cattle trader being interrogated by the security team at UPDF 3rd division headquarters

Audio 2

Joint security forces in the Karamoja sub-region are investigating top officials in Amudat district for allegedly aiding cattle theft. This follows the arrest of five cattle traders on August 25, 2023, at the Chepsikunya security checkpoint with stolen cows.

It's reported that the traders bought 120 cattle from the Karita livestock market and transported the cattle using non-designated livestock routes. During the interrogation by security forces, the traders revealed that they were assisted by the Amuday District Veterinary Officer and top political leaders to purchase and transport the animals.

Nathan Adome, a cattle dealer from Bukedea district alleges that he was contacted by some people saying that they had over 120 cows ready for sale outside the market day. Adome said he was skeptical about the mission until he received a confirmatory call from the Veterinary Officer and the District Chairperson assuring him of a genuine deal.

Adome narrated that this prompted him to hire three trucks from Mbale to go for the cows. Each of the cows was going for between Shillings 400,000 and 600,000, which is cheaper than the market price of one million Shillings. He claimed that he loaded the cattle in the presence of security officers and the implicated officials helped him to cross the first checkpoint in Nakapiripirit district until they were intercepted in the Kween district.

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Michael Longole, the Mt Moroto Regional Police Spokesperson confirmed the arrest of the suspects, saying that the traders are in custody at the UPDF 3rd division quarters. According to Longole, the businessmen were intercepted for using illegal routes while transporting livestock.

Longole said that security managed to identify 30 stolen cows from the trucks and there was a mismatch of dates in the movement permits. Longole noted that the cows are part of the 300 that were stolen from Nakapiripirit on August 22, 2023, which led to the death of two UPDF soldiers while others were injured while tracking the stolen cows.

Armed Pokot warriors ambushed the troops who were pursuing about 300 cattle that had been rustled from the Kobion area in the Loleng sub-county of Nakapiripirit District. Longole said that with statements from traders, their findings have implicated senior district officials in the matter and they have launched investigations into the matter.

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In May 2023, the Joint Security Forces in the Karamoja sub-region designated two routes for cattle traders. Traders from Amudat, Nakapiripirit, and Kotido districts utilize the Moroto to Soroti Road, with a mandatory verification of cows at the Nadunget checkpoint. On the other hand, districts such as Kaabong and Karenga use the road to Kitgum district.

This move aims to curb the illegal cattle trade, which has fueled the motivation for cattle rustlers to continue their raids due to the availability of a ready market.