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Moroto NGOs Embark on Mindset Change For Reformed Warriors

A consortium of NGOs including Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services and White Taker among others are mobilizing the youths and families that handed over illegal guns voluntarily with an aim of sensitizing and empowering them for income generating activities such that they do not go back to raiding.

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Authorities of Moroto district have begun addressing mindset issues with the reformed Karimojong warriors who voluntarily handed over their guns to government. 

A consortium of NGOs including Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services and White Taker among others are mobilizing the youths and families that handed over illegal guns voluntarily with the aim of sensitizing and empowering them for income generating activities so that they do not go back to livestock raiding. 

James Shilaku the Moroto Resident District Commissioner says the sensitization and mobilization of the reformed youths is being spearheaded by non-governmental organizations in liaison with security. 

He says the purpose of mindset change is to ensure that the reformed warriors are ready to participate in generation of household income and are self-sustaining. 

This, he said is to ensure the youths do not look at raids as the only source of livelihood but appreciate productive alternatives to earning a living in legally acceptable manner.

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The strategy to mentally prepare the former raiders into productive citizens is premised on basis that they were engaged in cattle raids for commercial gain. 

However, according to the Director Karamoja Development Forum, an NGO involved on security and rights of pastoralists in Karamoja, the insecurity question of the region should comprehensively be handled by government to include a package for the warriors who have voluntarily handed over the guns to government. 

Longoli says that the security issues in Karamoja will not be addressed only by disarmament but through a comprehensive approach that involves, empowerment of the communities, giving incentives to reformed warriors andboosting security in the region among others.

Longoli contends that government should compensate the armed warriors because they spent money to acquire the guns basically for protection when insecurity and cattle rustling resumed in 2019. According to Longoli, had the national army acted in time to contain the situation, the extent of death and loss of livestock should have been minimized.

However, Shilaku disagrees with the proposal to compensate reformed warriors saying, it will likely promote crime than eliminate it.

Just last week, Moroto district registered about six incidents of raids where an estimated 600 heads of cattle and hundreds of goats were stolen. 

Two people were shot dead by the warriors while three were injured and have been hospitalized.

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