The authorities in Kenya are demanding fresh investigations into the killing of three geologists and two soldiers of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces- UPDF in Moroto district.
The geologists who were working with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development were attacked by suspected cattle rustlers and killed alongside their UPDF escorts while conducting mineral mapping in Lokisilei village, Lotisan sub-county in March.
The suspected attackers from Turkana fled to Kenya with the two guns belonging to the deceased UPDF soldiers after the attack. But later, the security forces invaded Naput village and rounded up eight Turkana pastoralists with six illegal firearms. They are now serving 10 years of imprisonment for illegal possession of firearms.
Jeremiah Lomorukai Napotikan, the Turkana County Governor, told URN that the Ugandan authorities are holding innocent Kenyans in jail because there is no proof yet to show that they participated in the alleged crime. He demanded that the Ugandan government considers speeding up investigations so that the real killers can be brought to book.
According to him, intelligence from both Uganda and Kenya should work together to dig out the criminals who participated in the act. He blamed the security forces for failing to arrest the people who claimed to have recovered the guns, saying these could have provided leads to the killers.
‘’We must arrest people who brought the guns, pick even those who conceal the information, all these people would help to lead us to those who killed the geologists’’ Napotikan said.
However, Brig Gen Joseph Balikudembe, the UPDF 3rd division commander says they are handling the matter together with Kenyan forces and expect a conclusion soon. He added that their investigations are beyond the governor’s level.
Meanwhile, the Uganda and Kenya authorities have also resolved to end criminality and gun violence among inter-pastoral communities in both Karamoja Sub-Region and Turkana County in Kenya.
Senior leaders from both Karamoja and Turkana County made their commitments during the joint cross-border security meetings and community engagements at Kobebe Mega Valley Dam in Moroto district on Wednesday, 9th November 2022.