A security force joint operation claimed at least 251 suspected cattle rustlers with most deaths attributed to forceful disarmament in Karamoja sub-region last year.
According to Brig Gen Joseph Balikudembe, the 3rd division commander, Most suspected Karimojong warriors were killed following the prelaunch of disarmament operations in the northeastern sub-region on July 17, 2021.
In the same period, at least 1,626 suspected rustlers were arrested, 291 of whom have so far been prosecuted and a total of 14,898 livestock were recovered and at least 160 guns were recovered.
According to Brig Gen Joseph Balikudembe, an estimate of about 500 illegal guns is still being kept by the suspected rustlers.
“These are the guns that have remained so aggressive but we are handling them seriously and there is no cause of alarm,” he assured.
However, Brig Balikudembe blamed the district leaders of Karamoja for covering up for the suspected rustlers.
“Whenever the security forces carry out operations in an area, you find leaders of that particular area making frantic phone calls defending the rustlers, and this makes our work very difficult,” he said.
This was revealed during a regional security review meeting were Ms Mary Goretti Kitutu the minister for Karamoja affairs , Ms Agnes Nandutu the minister of State for Karamoja affairs, and Mr Vincent Ssempijja the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs attended.