Local leaders in Kotido say that the residents have evacuated their homes and moved to sother sub counties to live with relatives, friends or in-laws for fear of being subjected to forceful disarmament that is currently on going in the sub region. Others have taken refuge in Kotido town, leaving only the elderly, the disabled and local council officials in the villages.
Villages in Panyangara Sub County in Kotido district have been abandoned by
residents following a forceful disarmament exercise that has displaced hundreds
leaders in Kotido say that the residents have left their homes and moved to other
sub-counties to live with relatives, friends, or in-laws for fear of being
subjected to forceful disarmament. Others have taken refuge in Kotido town,
leaving only the elderly, the disabled, and local council officials in the
affected villages include; Omokori, Naregae, Lomukura, Nakirioni, Awapet – all
in Rikitae Parish in Panyangara Sub County.
Lodukan, the LCI Chairperson of Riktae Village, says that the people have all run
away from homes to seek refuge elsewhere for fear of being arrested by the
joint forces on suspicion of having illegal guns.
“Abwangaros ngitunga ...
Cue out: ... namoni kec kangina.”//
migration of the residents was sparked by heavy shelling early this week
between the government soldiers and the warriors in the general areas of
Panyangara. The UPDF used both infantry and air support that left at
least two warriors dead. One gun and several ammunition were recovered from the
Akore, a peace actor in Kotido also notes that the villagers have abandoned
homes for fear of being arrested and charged with possession of illegal
firearms in the court-martial. The community also fears that the
UPDF might torture them during interrogation.
//Cue in: “Of course we have ...
Cue out: ... first incidences.”//
Division UPDF Spokesperson Capt. Edrin Mawanda says the fact that the residents
have run away from their homes means that there are illegal guns in the
information that they have left their homes and they are now in remote areas in
Kalosarich near Toror Hills, but we shall pursue them to the very end. We shall
not leave any weapons behind. The community should cooperate with our forces
and expose all those with guns and we shall only handpick them not their family
members,” Capt. Mawanda said.
The District Chairperson, Paul Lote however says some residents have stated
returning homes despite the security operations in the district. He says the
residents took refuge following Sunday’s clash between the UPDF soldiers and
warriors coupled with operations to disarm the residents.
a member of the Peace Committee in Leletio Parish says that as Peace Committee
members they have equally been affected and they have sought refuge elsewhere.
He says they have been forced out of their homes as peace committee members
they have abandoned homes because of death threats from the armed warriors.
first disarmament in the 1990s, the UPDF was accused of using torture. However,
this time around, security agencies say they will use reasonable force on
whoever refuses to disarm.
Last week one warrior was shot in the leg when
he contested arrest in Kacheri.