Kitgum Residents Offer Free Land to Army For Barracks

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Residents of Guda, Obolokome and Masaka villages, Namukora Sub County, Kitgum district have offered free land for the establishment of a military barracks.

The Guda village LCI Chairperson Patrick Okoda says allocating the land measuring approximately 3 hectares to the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) without demanding any compensation is entirely for heightening security in the area.

Okoda says the move by the locals to surrender part of their land to the army was a unanimous decision by residents following recent frequent cattle raids in the area by armed suspected Karimajong cattle rustlers. According to Okoda, he and a section of residents survived being killed in a shootout last week as they attempted to pursue the cattle rustlers who had stolen animals from the area.  

Alfred Olanya Odoch, a resident says that the gesture by the residents has been long overdue since suspected Karimajong warriors have always used the area as their main corridor through which they sneak into Namukora and Orom in Kitgum district to raid animals. According to Odoch, the locals contend that the fears of insecurity and their vulnerability remains a growing concern and communities can no longer improve their livelihoods through livestock and crop farming.

The Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech commended the locals for providing the land saying it will help security widen their presence in their area.

According to Komakech, the move is anticipated also to benefit the farming communities in other villages of Oryebo, Orabal, Masaka, Obolokome, Odilangi and Oryang in Namukora Sub County and the neighbouring villages of Omiya Pacua Sub County in Agago district.

The UPDF 5th Division Intelligence Officer Charles Byamugisha Marcelino warned the suspected Karimajong warriors that the army will not continue sitting back and watching people lose lives and property. He however implicated a section of residents who allegedly act as collaborators to the rustlers in coordinating attacks.