Lamwo locals urge govt to fight rustling

Lamwo- Residents of Lamwo District have tasked the authorities to beef up security against cattle rustlers from South Sudan.

Six cows were last week rustled in Okol Parish, Madi-Opei sub county by some people suspected to have come from South Sudan.

Security personnel pursued the rustlers forcing them to abandon the cows but farmers are still worried that the thieves could strike again.

The Madi-Opei Sub-County chairperson, Mr Charles Obong Okwera, said incidents of cattle theft have forced farmers to stop using oxen for ploughing. “Our people are living in fear, some have abandoned farming using oxen fearing they might be attacked by rustlers,” Mr Okwera said.

He added that the district should consider providing more security personnel to farmers. He also noted that currently, the Anti-Stock Theft Unit personnel in the district are inadequate to man the entire porous borders to guard against the cattle thieves.

Mr Mathew Ocen Akiya, the Lamwo District chairperson, acknowledged that the porous border has facilitated cattle rustling.

The 5th Division infantry spokesperson, Capt. Telesphor Turyamumanya ,said the army had taken full control of the border between Uganda and South Sudan, arguing that those stealing cattle are mere thieves not rustlers.

In October last year, suspected South Sudanese rustlers invaded Poyamo village in Madi-Opei and looted more than 20 cattle.

Reports from Lamwo District officials indicate that between 2009 and March 2015, a total of 400 cattle and 392 goats were rustled.