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Kapelebyong Residents Flee Fearing Suspected Karimojong Attack :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Kapelebyong Residents Flee Fearing Suspected Karimojong Attack

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Francis Akorikin, the Kapelebyong District LC V Chairperson, says that there was a gunfire exchange between the Anti-Stock Theft Unit- ASTU and the rustlers at Kirik Village in Achinga Sub County since Monday night when the suspected thieves were killed.
Women heading to Oditel Trading Centre in Kapelebyong district.

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Hundreds of residents of Okungur, Kapelebyong and Achinga sub-counties in Kapelebyong district are fleeing to trading centres fearing an attack by suspected Karimojong warriors. The affected people have pitched camp in Oditel Trading centre in Kapelebyong Sub County while others have sought refuge at the district headquarters. 

The fleeing residents including women, children and the elderly have come along with their belongings including beddings, chickens, goats and cows for safety from the Karimojong. This follows the death of three suspected Karimojong rustlers who were lynched by a mob in Achinga Sub County on Monday night. 

Information on the ground indicates that the residents of Achinga turned rowdy when they saw pockets of suspected Karimojong arriving in the area on motorbikes on Monday evening. Phillip Eringo, the Achinga Sub County LC III Chairperson, says that residents were taken by surprise when they saw people disembarking from motorbikes with bags. 

“We were saved by one of the herdsmen who saw the warriors assembling a gun in the bush. He tipped us and residents confronted the suspects, killing three who had not yet assembled their guns”, he said. Eringo says that the armed warrior managed to escape and was reinforced by others who opened fire on residents, prompting the intervention of the army and ASTU. 

"Since then, the security situation on the ground remained tense, forcing residents to flee homes for safety," he said. Francis Akorikin, the Kapelebyong District LC V Chairperson, says that there was a gunfire exchange between the Anti-Stock Theft Unit- ASTU and the rustlers at Kirik Village in Achinga Sub County since Monday night when the suspected thieves were killed.

“I have just escaped gunfire in Kirik, Acinga in a battle between ASTU and the Karimojong. It’s tough here," he said in a WhatsApp message. Charles Okwii, a resident running away from Akimenga village, says that although he heard gunfire, he didn’t expect the situation to get out of hand to the extent of forcing people to run away from their homes. 

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Joseph Enotu, the Okungur Sub County LC III Chairperson, says that almost all the villages have been abandoned as residents seek shelter in trading centres. He says that children and teachers in two parishes bordering Napak have also fled schools because of the security situation.

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The 3rd Division Commander, Brig. Joseph Balukudembe, says that the people are running away from their homes in fear of retaliation following the death of the three suspected warriors. He, however, says that the situation is being managed by the Brigade Commander.

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The security situation in Kapelebyong deteriorated last week following the death of Daniel Otai who was killed by the suspected Karimojong warriors. The situation is not any different in Katakwi district.  The LC V Chairperson, Geoffrey Omolo, says that hundreds of people fled their homes in Ongongoja Sub County on Monday night following an attack by suspected Karimojong warriors.