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Fear, Thin Security Presence Forcing People Out of Homes in Kapelebyong :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Fear, Thin Security Presence Forcing People Out of Homes in Kapelebyong

On Tuesday night, thousands of residents from Okungur, Achinga and Kapelebyong sub-counties abandoned their homes following a fire exchange between the Anti-Stock Theft Unit- ASTU personnel and suspected rustlers in Kirik Village in Kapelebyong Sub County.
Some of the residents who spent a night at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Acumet, Kapelebyong.

Audio 4

Several people have continued fleeing their homes in Kapelebyong district for fear of attacks by suspected Karimojong rustlers.  The thin security presence in the district has exacerbated the situation, according to the LC V Chairperson, Francis Akorikin.

He explains that although  Uganda People's Defense Forces-UPDF deployed more men on the ground, only a few are manning security along the border with Napak and Abim districts of Karamoja. He says that the situation is forcing several residents to seek refuge in areas they feel are secure.

//Cue in: “People ran out of fear…

Cue out:…scare of Karimojong,”//

On Tuesday night, thousands of residents from Okungur, Achinga and Kapelebyong sub-counties abandoned their homes following a fire exchange between the Anti-Stock Theft Unit- ASTU personnel and suspected rustlers in Kirik Village in Kapelebyong Sub County. The clashes followed the lynching of three suspected Karimojong rustlers in the area on Monday night.

More than 300 people including children spent the night at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Acumen. The residents in different groups started flocking the church around 6:00 pm until 11:00 pm. 

Nicholas Omuron, a resident of Apopong Village, says that he left his home around 1:00 pm when other people from Anyangarem Village came running telling them that they had been attacked. Omuron and others followed suit and fled their homes to Oditel Trading Centre where they resorted to the church.

He told our reporter that he couldn’t wait to see the attackers before deciding to take his family out of the home.

Ateso byte

//Cue in: “Akerete kesi da inerasi…

Cue out:…ayangario angina,”//

Josephine Achom, an elderly woman from Obulokopi Village says that some people are exaggerating the situation to cause fear among residents. She says that the situation disorganized homes with some parents failing to trace their children.

Ateso byte

//Cue in: “Ejai ido ekerete itunga…

Cue out…toni kware,”//

But most of the residents who talked with our reporter said that they were thrown into panic when some security personnel told them that the situation had gotten out of hand. 

Ateso byte (Voices of Charles Ogwang, Nicholas Omuron and Virgilian Ongaria)

//Cue in “Mam isio iwanyunit…

Cue out…aijereg itunga,”//

The East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman, Oscar Ageca said that people reacted to the gunfire not necessarily that they were told to run away by the security personnel.

“We had 3rd Division Commander on the ground with several other security personnel from sister forces. How do they advise people to run away from their homes? Maybe those are people who are taking advantage of the situation on the ground”, he said.