Ugandan authorities have begun a forcible disarmament of tribal warriors in the northeast who are engaging in cattle rustling. In the last four months alone, at least 150 people have been reportedly killed in cattle raids. Officials say they?re more sophisticated and murderous than before because now the warriors have modern weapons.
Ugandan army spokesman Major Felix Kulaigye told English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje the government?s forcible disarmament is necessitated by ?the failure of the rustlers to obey the peaceful approach of voluntary disarmament and by their actions of destabilizing neighboring districts.? He says there is no connection between the rustlers being disarmed and Lord?s Resistance Army rebels who have operated for years in northern Uganda.
Kulaigye says the cattle rustling problem has had a spillover effect. He says, ?Because of the warriors? cross-border raids, cattle rustling now affects the neighboring north central and eastern Uganda districts.? According to the army spokesman, such raids have destabilized communities and displaced local residents. Kulaigye says the disarmament campaign will continue ?as long as we have arms to collect.? (English to Africa