A senior three student of Arengesiep secondary school in Nabilatuk district, northern Uganda has been shot dead by the security forces during an operation against cattle rustling.
20-year-old Idoo Lokwakori was shot dead in Nagule-Angolo village, Ngoloriet sub-county, Napak district. The deceased was reportedly moving with 13 other warriors armed with four firearms.
Michael Longole, Mt Moroto regional police spokesperson said that the deceased was put out of action at about 1:00 am on Thursday morning when armed warriors met with the forces that were on patrol duties.
Longole said that the student was killed while attempting to steal cows from the cattle Kraal in Nagule-Angolo village nearing the next village where suspected warriors killed a teacher on the same night.
Longole revealed that the body of the deceased was transported by security to his home and handed over to the relatives for burial in Nabilatuk. He observed that students have also been coordinating with cattle raiders to steal cows that they sell to get ‘pocket money’.
‘’Whether you are a student or not, our forces will not spare you provided they have caught you in a criminal act,” said Longole. He warned the students to desist from the vice and instead focus on their studies to improve their future prospects.
Jonathan Angella, an elder in Kangole town council blamed hunger for the ongoing cattle thefts in the region. He noted that the youth have been left idle which gives them much time to think of criminal acts for survival.
Angella noted that ever since the government pledged to support the youth who handed over their guns, nothing has been materialized making the youth feel cheated. He appealed to the government to consider fulfilling the pledges of supporting the reformed warriors so that they’re not tempted to go back to cattle rustling.
“These boys have started again their evil acts, and the situation this time will be worse because there is no food and the only way to survive is through raiding cows to sell,” said Angella.
Julius Etorom Lote, a resident of Naiwoikorot village in Ngoloriet sub county observed that this is not the first time students are being killed during cattle raids.
“You also know the poverty in Karamoja, so these students are lured into cattle theft because they know that after they can sell the stolen livestock and get pocket money,” said Lote.
He appealed to the government to enroll the youth into skilling programs so that they are able to make money using their own hands instead of raiding cattle.