Residents of Palabek Nyimur Sub-county in Lamwo district have requested for more security deployment in the area to counter attacks by suspected Dinka Bor and cattle raids. Last month, local leaders in the district expressed concern over the recurrent attacks and raids by suspected armed men from South Sudan.
According to the leaders, the attackers have been terrorizing the sub-counties of Palabek Nyimur, Madi Opei, Agoro, Lokung, and Potika sub-counties since 2018. The Dinka Bor, have reportedly settled at the border between Nimule and South Sudan, specifically, along the tributaries of Acwa and Nyimur, which are found both in Uganda and South Sudan. The gunmen frequently go into the communities and at the border, where they rough up the locals, and steal their animals before retreating to their settlement.
On May 27th, 2022 the armed men attacked the area and killed the LC I Chairperson of Padwat East Village before fleeing with 38 head of cattle, which are yet to be recovered.
Speaking before the 5th Division Commander, Brig. Gen. William Bainomugisha at Nyimur Sub-county headquarters, Moses Billi, the area LC3 chairperson, said that the affected residents from five parishes are currently residing with friends and relatives after being forced to flee their homes when the suspected Dinka Bor killed their LC I Chairperson.
According to Billi, about three-quarters of the 10,700 people in the sub-county have fled their homes. Asuman Odongtoo, the chief of the Lugwa clan, said that since 2018, the Dinka Bor has raided over 400 cattle. Odongtoo says the attackers have built their settlements in people’s gardens and are claiming that their border is in Soroti district.
Odongtoo says the frequent raids by the Dinka are affecting the productivity of the locals since all the animals provided by the government under the restocking program have been looted.
He requested the division commander to train and arm the youth to help guard the affected population so that they can resume farming, which is their only source of livelihood.
He also expressed concern that the border of Uganda with South Sudan is open, which makes anyone cross at any time. Emmanuel Opoka, the Paracele Clan youth leader shared the same concern, saying that due to the open border, the refugees at Palabek Kal keep going back to their country and return easily, which makes them look suspicious.
Opoka appealed to the leaders to ensure that the border with South Sudan is clearly demarcated, adding that the locals are not sure whether or not they are in Uganda.
Brig. Gen. Bainomugisha revealed that the army recently sent three battalions to East Acholi to beef up security in Agago, Kitgum, and Lamwo districts against such attacks. He ordered the battalion commander to set up another detachment at the border at Ngomoromo to increase the number of security personnel to guard the people.
Bainomugisha asked the locals to promptly call the soldiers if they hear of any looming attacks so that they respond quickly. He promised to meet the district security committee together with UNHCR on issues of refugees freely crossing the border to and from Uganda.
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