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Arrow Boys Kill 12 Civilians in Soroti :: Uganda Radionetwork

Arrow Boys Kill 12 Civilians in Soroti

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Members of the Teso-based Arrow Boys Militia have reportedly shot and killed 12 civilians in separate incidences in Soroti district in the past two weeks.
The Soroti Criminal Investigations Officer, Felix Mugungu, says the latest incident occurred on Sunday night in Asuret sub-county when 10 militiamen allegedly attacked the home of a local resident, Irusi Aminadam, shooting dead his wife and two-year-old daughter.
According to Mugungu, the attacks on civilians are being carried out by Arrow Boys who are disgruntled with the way government has handled their demobilization from the militia force. He says some of the militia who are looking for a quick buck have been hired as hit men by people in the region, while others have taken to robbery to earn a living.
The Soroti Resident District Commissioner, Omax Omeda, agrees with the police assessments of the Arrow Boys. He discloses that a large number of guns issued to the militia are unaccounted, a problem he links to the large desertion of the militia force.
The Arrow Boys militia was established five years ago as a popular uprising by the people of the Teso region against the invasion of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army. The Arrow Boys, together with the Ugandan army successfully repelled the rebels, leaving the militia with an increasingly diminishing mandate. Several militiamen were recruited into the auxiliary forces, but many remained undeployed and have continuously complained about late payment of their salaries and terminal benefits.
The coordinator of the Arrow Boys, Musa Ecweru, says he is appalled by reports of criminal activity of some of the Arrow Boys. He appeals to the people of Teso not to allow the rebel activity to be replaced by crime and asks the police to deal decisively with any perpetrators of crime.
Ecweru, who is the new State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, says it is the responsibility of the people of Teso to ensure that the region becomes totally peaceful. He notes that the past harvest season was a good one and asks that the economic gains made in the past year should not be jeopardized by the criminal activity of a few militiamen.

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