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Two South Sudan Nationals Arrested For Allegedly Coordinating Livestock Thefts

The Madi Opei Urban Council LC III Chairperson Abdallah Jumah Jaleh says one of the suspects was arrested at around 5:30 am on Sunday morning a few meters to a community cattle kraal at Gere village in Kal Parish.

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Two South Sudan nationals have been arrested for allegedly coordinating illegal cattle raids in Madi Opei Sub County and Madi Opei Town Council, Lamwo District.

The suspects only identified as Oyugi and Agoo, all residents of Tseretenya Bomah in Ikotos County of South Sudan were arrested by residents.

The Madi Opei Urban Council LC III Chairperson Abdallah Jumah Jaleh says one of the suspects was arrested at around 5:30 am on Sunday a few meters to a community cattle kraal at Gere village in Kal Parish. According to Jaleh, the second suspect was later arrested by the army who met him while heading towards the kraal in disguise that he was looking for his mentally ill brother.

Jaleh says residents allege that before their arrest the suspects were seen roaming within Madi Opei Town Council alleging they were on a visit to check on their relatives on the Ugandan side.  

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Jaleh says intelligence information indicates that a section of suspected cattle thieves has always crossed into Uganda purportedly to visit their relatives only to coordinate cattle rustling before returning to their country. However, the Ifuda Bomah Chief of Tseretenya in South Sudan, Peter Odwar refuted the allegation purporting that the suspects were spying with an interest of engaging in livestock theft.

According to Odwar, one of the suspects is a youth leader in Tseretenya Bomah of Ikotos County in South Sudan who had traveled with his brother into Uganda last week to repair their motorcycle at Madi Opei Town Council. Odwar says authorities of South Sudan’s Ikotos County are in negotiations with their Ugandan counterparts to pay a courtesy visit in a bid of entering a mutual agreement for the unconditional release of the suspects.

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The Lamwo District Police Commander Robert Kachumu says the duo currently in their custody will be subjected to a medical examination to ascertain the mental status since one of the suspects is alleged to have engaged in the criminal act under psychological challenges.    

According to Kachumu, a case of livestock theft has been preferred against the suspects who will be arraigned before court and charged before the courts of law.

The arrest comes barely days following a foiled cattle raid that occurred on Friday in Guda Palwo village, Loke parish where six herds of animals were stolen but recovered following an immediate pursuit of the thieves by the army.