Disarm or face jail, Karimojong warned
Publish Date: Feb 28, 2010
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By Vision Reporter

KARIMOJONG warriors who do not voluntarily surrender their guns risk being court-martialled, the Government has warned.

Information minister Kabakumba Masiko said about 70 warriors who refused to surrender their guns had been tried in the Court Martial.

“The rustlers will be dealt with firmly and decisively and cattle rustling will be a thing of the past,” she told a media briefing at the Kampala Media Centre in Kampala on Friday.

Kabakumba noted that the disarmament exercise in Karamoja had been successful, with 275,340 guns collected over the last three years.

The Government estimates that about 2,000 guns are still in the possession of the Karimojong warriors.

Kakakumba said calm had returned to the region due to the disarmament programme.

She, however, noted that cross-border rustling had taken a twist, with rustlers from Kenya conniving with those in Uganda to raid neighbouring tribes.

“Those from across the border, like the Turkana, ally with Jie to raid those neighbouring them. The Pokot in Kenya ally with the Pokot in Uganda to raid the Pian,” she said.

Armed cattle raiders have wrecked havoc on communities both within Karamoja and in northern Uganda.

The Government first attempted to rid the region of illegal guns in a voluntary disarmament programme between 2001 and 2002, which saw only 10,000 guns recovered.

However, the programme was unevenly carried out and the army was unable to protect the disarmed from groups which retained their guns. The plan was revived in 2004 but yielded little success and in 2006, the army launched a forceful disarmament drive.

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