Members of Parliament from Otuke District have petitioned Parliament, demanding urgent intervention by the government to curb the increasing animal raids by suspected Karamojong cattle rustlers that have sparked insecurity in the area.
Led by the District Woman MP Susan Abeja Okello, the legislators want urgent security attention to neutralise the current situation in the district, especially in Ogwete and Olilim sub-counties, among others.
While presenting a petition in Parliament recently, MP Abeja revealed that local residents of the affected sub-counties are living in fear following the recent attacks that caused the loss of several animals, while others are on the verge of being displaced from their homes for the safety of their livestock.
“The government must urgently provide transport to UPDF units within the area for effective mobility to counter raiders; security roads must be immediately constructed within the area to ensure fast movement; and more security personnel should be deployed in the area by the government,” MP Abeja emphasised.
In the petition signed by both MP Abeja and MP Julius Achon of Otuke East, the leaders asked the Ministry of Defence to beef up security deployment in the area to protect local residents and their property.
According to the petition, more than 400 animals are reported to have been rustled by the raiders within the past two weeks.
“The raids have been ongoing daily for the past two weeks. Over 400 animals are reported to have been stolen by the raiders, and several local residents have been severely injured during the raids.This happened despite the presence of UPDF soldiers within the affected sub counties; our residents are living in fear,” the petition reads.
She also asked President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to intervene in the matter so that security and stability are restored in the area.
A team from the Ministry of Defence is expected to visit the affected area to ascertain the magnitude of the current situation.
MP Samuel Opio Acuti of Kole North and the Lango Parliamentary Group Secretary General insist the government must treat the concerns with urgency.
Last week, security confirmed they had recovered a total of 40 animals that were stolen by the cattle raiders from the area.
According to SP Patrick Jimmy Okema, the North Kyoga regional police spokesperson, the raiders were armed with arrows, bows, and firearms.