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Police Profiles Cattle Markets to Avert Commercialized Raids in Karamoja

The cattle markets have been linked to the spate of raids as rustlers steal cows and immediately load them on trucks for transportation out of Karamoja, a trend which, according to Micheal Longole, the Mt Moroto Regional Police Spokesperson frustrates the recovery of stolen animals.
Micheal Longole, the Mt Moroto regional spokesperson

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The police Anti-Stock Theft Unit is profiling cattle markets to avert commercialized raids in the Karamoja sub-region.

The cattle markets have been linked to the spate of raids as rustlers steal cows and immediately load them on trucks for transportation out of Karamoja, a trend which, according to Micheal Longole, the Mt Moroto Regional Police Spokesperson frustrates the recovery of stolen animals.

He says that the new initiative is to ensure that markets are no longer used by raiders. Longole explains that with guidance from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries they have so far profiled 21 cattle markets in the Eastern region detailing their location and day of operation.

Longole explains that they established that the markets did not have any restrictions and anyone could take animals for sale without being verified. He adds that under the new initiative, ASTU personnel will be deployed in each of the markets to verify the animals brought for sale and regulate the movement of animals within and outside the region.

He is optimistic that markets will be cleared of stolen cattle under the new initiative, in which personnel will be deployed

//Cue in;  ‘’we have controlled...

Cue out... movements of animals.’’//

Bernard Lokong, the councillor representing youth in Rupa sub-county, Moroto district explains that some cattle markets had started operating on a daily basis because of the increase in the number of animals on sale. He called for a ban on the movement of animals to areas outside Karamoja.

‘’If the security was committed to stopping commercialized raids, the first step would have been closing all the cattle markets, let there be no business transaction on animals so that we monitor which trucks are ferrying stolen animals and taking where’’ He lamented.

Lokong believes that it’s hard to stop commercialized raids with the free movement of animals across the region.

Meanwhile, Mariko Loduk Apaa Lomer, an elder in the Nadunget sub-county recalls that during their early days, cattle raids were a traditional communal survival instrument and they never involved the loss of human life and money.

According to him, monitoring the markets alone is not enough because the raiders are now very tactical in their operations. He added that the warriors collude with truck drivers to load animals immediately after their raids and transport them to a planned destination.

He also noted that although security has intervened to regulate the cattle markets it’s still a challenge because of local leaders who connive with thieves for false verification documents.