Police’s Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) in collaboration with Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) have recovered 316 head of cattle in countrywide operations targeting cattle thieves and rustlers.
The cows, according to Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga, were recovered during the operations at the start of the week that preceded the New Year. Enanga said that the majority of the cows were recovered in Karamoja while others were impounded at impromptu mobile checkpoints.
Enanga said spontaneous mobile checkpoints have proven successful in dealing with incidents of cattle theft, especially during the festive season. He added that the number of cows transported in the wee hours of the night without proper documents has drastically reduced since the operations began.
ASTU impounded at least 229 cows being illegally transported in late-night hours during the Christmas week. But the New Year’s operation only led to the recovery of 46 cows. This, police says is because the thieves now know that they are likely to be intercepted in the night.
Even in Karamoja where incidents of cattle rustling were high during Christmas, they slightly reduced during the New Year’s week. Only 270 cows were reported stolen last week yet the week leading to Christmas, more than 300 cows were stolen. In addition, six suspected cattle rustlers were shot dead in New Year’s Day operations in which five guns were recovered.
ASTU and UPDF reports on disarmament exercise that resumed in July last year after 14 years of peace show 85 Karamojong warriors have been shot dead. Security says the warriors tried to confront the joint forces and they were put out of action.
At least 138 guns have been recovered in the latest disarmament exercise. Last week, 23 warriors were convicted by Court Martial bring the number of convicts to 390. Away from cows, 150 out of 169 reported stolen in New Year’s week have been recovered.