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Napak Leaders Ask Gov't for Permission to Form Vigilante Group

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John Paul Kodet, the Napak district LC V Chairperson, says that while there are plans to protect Teso, the government should consider protecting Napak residents as well because they are unarmed and victims of cattle raids.
Some of the suspected cattle rustlers arrested by joint security forces during the Usalama Kwa Wote operations.

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In spite of the government’s assurance to address the insecurity in Karamoja, a section of leaders in Napak district want the government to allow them to form local vigilante groups to protect their communities from cattle rustlers.

This comes a few days after some leaders in Teso also made a similar proposal to the government to arm youth in their area to fight cattle rustlers from the neighbouring Karamoja. 

John Paul Kodet, the Napak district LC V Chairperson, says that while there are plans to protect Teso, the government should consider protecting Napak residents as well because they are unarmed and victims of cattle raids. 

Kodet says the idea to have local vigilantes would work best for them due to the limited number of security operatives. He wants the government to provide guns at least five per parish, saying it is easy to manage them.

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Isaac Oware, the UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson noted that the joint security forces still have the capacity to handle the situation. Oware says that the request for the establishment of local vigilante groups to protect the community is necessary but at the moment they cannot buy the idea because they are still resilient.

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But Isaac Lomuria, the Iriiri village security committee chairperson in Napak district is sceptical about the establishment of local vigilante groups for fear of escalating gun violence in the community. 

Lomuria says that although the security condition is worsening it’s better to allow the UPDF to deal with the situation than risking with untrained personnel to curb the vice.

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The UPDF 3rd division command raised a complaint about the manpower gap with the office of the chief of Defence forces. Over the weekend, President Yoweri Museveni passed out 6238 Local Defence Units(LDUs) personnel after completing 16 weeks of basic military training. The LDUs will be deployed in the Karamoja sub-region to support the security forces.