After the loss of two promising Karimojong students to armed thugs, Karimojong students and Karamoja MPs spent some time to discuss security issues in Karamoja at a graduation party on Friday.
The graduation party of Lotukei Ambrose, the D.E.O of Kotido held at Namboole Sports Hotel was attended by Karimojong students, Peter Loki (Jie MP) and Achia Remigio (Pian MP) among others.
Lotukei acquired a master’s degree in education planning and management, graduating on 20th February from Uganda Christian University.
The matter was sparked by the Chairperson of Karamoja Students’ Development Association, Ekapel Hillary who said students had been the victims of armed violence in recent days.
Cephas Aleper was killed in a road attack in Kotido on 23rd January. The LCV Kotido has been charged for the murder and is on trial. Another student, Ruffino was killed on 16th of February in a road ambush by suspected Pokot cattle rustlers.
“It should be noted that people who have this kind of sentiments (murdering others) should be exposed,” said the Lotukei.
The Jie Legislator took time off to appeal to students to be agents of change in Karamoja.
“You are the vanguard of Karamoja; you are the hope of change. Until you realize that, you are not going to change Karamoja,” he said. “The destiny of every one else depends on what you do. Unless you become cadres of transformation, society is not going to change,” he added.
Remigio blamed the current insecurity situation in Karamoja on negligence by the UPDF. He said the UPDF are not well facilitated to protect lives and property in Karamoja.
“Some times the armored tanks do not have even fuel to track lost cattle. The UPDF some times do not have food or water while in field,” he said.
He however said the lack of trust by government to give arms to some sections of Karamoja, as was done for Amuka Militia in Acholi and Arrow boys in Teso, has hampered attempts to find lasting peace in Karamoja.
“Mistrust in partnership is failing us. Why can’t government trust us to work with it to end this impunity?” Remigio charged.