Senior Civil,Political and Security leaders from the districts of Nabilatuk, Napak, Kapelabyong and Katakwi held an inter-district security coordination meeting at Olilim, Katakwi District.
Presiding over the meeting the Deputy Resident District Commissioner (D/RDC) for Katakwi, and chair explained the purpose of the joint meeting as an effort to harmonise the security of the two subregions that share a common origin. “We have convened to iron out man made security challenges between the two subregions”, remarked Mr. Okwi Vincent.
Mr. Okwi mentioned that the people of Teso and Karamoja Sub regions share the same origin and have similar interests which call for peaceful co-existence. “With a sober mind, we are on the right truck to find solutions to cross livestock criminality” he said, adding that natural resource sharing requires natural justice to avoid any eventuality.
The 3rd Division Commander of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Brig Gen Joseph Balikudembe said that the joint meetings seek remedies and foster harmony among the people of the neighboring districts in the two regions. “We need to have a turning point and solutions to livestock recovery, identification and harmonious co-existence,” remarked Brig Gen Balikudembe.
He cautioned leaders against multiple rebranding of livestock and delay to expedite hand over of recovered animals, a vice which turns security forces into victims of circumstances.
The Division Commander recounted a number of significant operational achievements which resulted in the calm enjoyed in the last one and a half years.
Brig Gen Felix Busizoori, Deputy Division Commander appealed to leaders at all respective levels to mobilize and sensitize communities to embrace the prevailing peace and conditions necessary for socio-economic transformation.
Commissioner of Police, Elias Kasirabo the commandant of Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) implored leaders to correctly exercise their authority to regulate animal movements. “Animals movements from villages or any locality must be sanctioned by the local leadership as road check points augment on regulatory efforts”, CP Kasirabo told the leaders.
“Last week, ASTU reinstated check points in the area of operation to scrutinize animal documents, letters of no objection, movement permits issued by veterinary officers in order to curb livestock thefts on transit and markets”, the ASTU commander explained.
The Chairperson of LC V for Napak, Mr. Kodet Paul asked fellow leaders to always communicate, coordinate and cooperate with security forces whenever there are any animal thefts for ease of trucking and subsequent recovery.
He appealed to leaders not to mix issues of administrative boundaries with the political will to fight criminality for the sake of their people.
The Chairperson LC V for Kapelabyong district, Mr. Akorikin Francis re-echoed the good news of the prevailing relative calmness ushered by security forces and supported by district authorities as compared to the early months of 2022.
He recognised the inter-connectivity of the people socially, economically and advised pastoralists to buy land in Kapelabyong district, water animals and settle rather than move unnecessarily which makes them lose out on some ingredients of life such as health and education among others.
Mr. Omolo Geoffrey,the Chairperson LC V for Katakwi and his counterpart, Mr. Lokol Paul for Nabilatuk district requested top commanders to further enhance deployments and secure grazing borderline belts (pink line) between Teso and Karamoja Sub regions.
They called for improvement on the security roads surface (mostly in affected sub counties) in order to enhance troops’ deployments and movement of civilians.
The inter-district security coordination meeting for four local governments and top security commanders settled for a number of workable strategies and resolutions to sustain peace and harmonious co-existence between Teso and Karamoja subregion.