Crime

Two UPDF soldiers shot dead by Pokot cattle rustlers in Nakapiripirit

Nakapiripirit, (UG): Two Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) soldiers were shot dead and another injured by suspected cattle rustlers in Nakapiripirit district while tracking stolen cattle on Monday evening.

The incident occurred at 8 p.m. around Molunyangai Hill within the Pian Upe Game Reserve.

Armed Pokot warriors ambushed the troops who were in pursuit of about 300 cattle that had been rustled from the Kobion area in the Loleng sub-county of Nakapiripirit District.

During a triple ambush on the soldiers from the 51st Infantry Battalion, Lt. John Ojur Ssentongo and his unidentified colleague lost their lives in the line of duty. Another soldier sustained injuries.

The warriors reportedly managed to drive the stolen cattle across the border into Kenya’s West Pokot County.

Maj Isaac Oware, the UPDF 3rd division spokesman, confirmed the incident while condemning the ambush carried out by armed Pokot warriors.

Oware pointed out that this attack directly violated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Uganda and Kenya to stop cross-border raids.

Oware noted that armed elements crossing into Ugandan territory, leading to the loss of security personnel, civilians, and property, severely undermines and strains the bilateral relations between the two East African countries.

“We appeal to the leadership in West Pokot County to identify the criminals, bring them to book for justice to prevail, and recover the 400 stolen cows,” Oware said.

He reiterated that the UPDF leadership in the region is committed, both by mandate and responsibility, to conducting operations against all armed criminal elements originating from neighboring countries.

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