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Police Heavily Deploys ASTU Personnel to Tackle Cattle Rustling in Karamoja

Although the regions had enjoyed peace for more than ten years, following the successful disarmament of communities, it has experienced a fresh wave of cattle rustling, mainly within Karamoja and parts of Northern Uganda.
17 Mar 2021 13:42
ASTU personel listening for the briefing from their commanders in Moroto barracks before their deployment
There is a heavy deployment of anti-stock theft Unit personnel in Karamoja following an increase in cases of cattle rustling in the area. The police unit was created to prevent the theft of cattle in Teso and Karamoja sub-regions. 

Although the regions had enjoyed peace for more than ten years, following the successful disarmament of communities, it has experienced a fresh wave of cattle rustling, mainly within Karamoja and parts of Northern Uganda. 

More than 500 anti-stock theft unit personnel have now been deployed in Karamoja to counter the problem. According to the Regional Police spokesperson for Karamoja Michael Longole, all the ASTU personnel deployed in other parts of the country such as western and Central Uganda will be transferred to Karamoja. The deployment will also be maintained in Northern Uganda.

Longole told URN that the personnel will be deployed around the cattle theft corridors all over the Karamoja region and also help disconnect the alliance of the warriors which fuels the cattle raids.

Max Lokabenyan, the newly elected Mayor for Nadunget Town council welcomed the development saying it was long overdue. He said that leaders will work with the personnel as long as they are deployed to work for the community. 

Jimmy Lomokol, the chairman Karamoja private sector said the deployment of the ASTU will help to save the cattle rustling situation if they work within their mandate. He appealed to the police authorities to ensure that the personnel are well facilitated to avoid getting tempted to connive with cattle raiders for survival. 

According to Lomokol, it’s not the first time personnel being deployed in Karamoja to fight against cattle rustling but they turn to be cattle rustlers themselves because of the conditions they meet while in Karamoja. 

Joyce Nakiru, a parish councillor for Nadunget sub-county in Moroto district advised the personnel to work together with political leaders to get rid of the cattle thieves. 

Last month, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces -UPDF launched tactical operations against rustlers.  At the start of the operations, the army recovered 19 guns and an unspecified number of bullets from the hands of the Karimojong warriors.