South Sudanese authorities have handed back eight head of cattle looted recently by cattle rustlers from local farmers in Lamwo district, northern Uganda.
A five-member delegation of security personnel from South Sudan’s Torit state accompanied by political and cultural leaders handed back the animals to Lamwo district leaders at Apiriti border point in Madi-Opei sub-county on Sunday.
Present at the handover among the South Sudanese delegation from Torit state was chief inspector of police Mathew Ochaya, acting director of police Caesar Irwang Jon, Brig Jimmy Odongi and Col. Santo Loyereng all from the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA-IO).
The recovered animals were part of the 18 that were stolen on August 27 from farmers in Lupilingi parish, Agoro sub-county by armed cattle rustlers. Lamwo resident district commissioner, James Nabinson Kidega said that the animals were traced and found in Ikotos county by South Sudanese army and police personnel on their request following the looting last month.
Kidega says the South Sudan officials have agreed to partner with Lamwo district authorities to combat cattle theft that has been soiling South Sudan’s name for a while. He notes that they have also agreed on strategies of ensuring that the two teams strengthen their networks in curtailing cross border theft.
Fifth Infantry Division spokesperson, Lt Hassan Kato says the recovered animals are the fruits of a bilateral agreement signed between the governments of South Sudan and Uganda last year on joint collaboration to fight cattle rustling.
He notes that the army last month recovered ten of the stolen animals before the rustlers crossed with them into South Sudan. Late last month, Uganda People’s Defense Forces soldiers shot dead an armed suspected cattle rustler in Obere village, Ngacino parish in Agoro sub-county in a foiled cattle robbery.