Suspected South Sudanese Gunmen Injure Two in Lamwo

Armed raiders regularly cross from South Sudan into Uganda  searching for food and cattle

Armed men suspected to have crossed from South Sudan on Friday night attacked two villages in Lamwo district in northern Uganda, hacking two, including a 12-years-old boy and a 36- year old man, Acholi Times has been told.

The gunmen reportedly attacked Obere village in Agoro Sub County and hacked the 12 year old while in his sleep. Another victim has been identified as Philip Okech, 36, who was stabbed in the neck at his home in Agula-Luboyoko B village.

Denis Onyon, the LCIII Chairperson Agoro Sub-county told Acholi Times in an interview Tuesday that the attackers crossed from Langiya hills which borders Uganda and South Sudan.

Onyon said the injured were first rushed for emergency medical treatment at Agoro Health Center III before being transferred to St Joseph Kitgum Hospital in Kitgum Municipality.

“The two sustained very serious injuries during the attack. The young boy has a deep wound on his head and was bleeding a lot while the man was stabbed in the neck and also hacked on the back,” Mr Onyon said.

Mr Onyon said the attackers numbering about seven were armed with two AK47 assault rifles while others carried machetes and knives. They looking for food and animals to loot, Onyon said.

The attackers made off with chicken, cooking utensils and phones.

“They [attackers] had targeted livestock but this time most of the farmers are security conscious. They have deployed themselves to man security in communal kraals where they keep their animals,’’ said Onyon, the Agoro sub county LC3 Chairman adding ‘‘we have got reports that there is serious hunger in South Sudan and that’s the reason behind their frequent raids.’’

The Fifth Division Intelligence Officer Col Richard Walekula said the army responded swiftly and repulsed the attackers after a brief exchange of gunfire.

Col Richard Walekula said the army was working towards addressing the gaps in patrolling the porous Uganda- South Sudan border.

“Despite our deployment at the border points, we still face a huge task to man this vast border points because of few numbers of personnel. We are however working on increasing the numbers of security personnel to help in securing the area,” said Col Walekula.

There has been repeated calls over the years by local leaders for security to be beefed in the three sub-counties of Madi-Opei, Lokung and Agoro, which border South Sudan.

Over the past weekend armed cattle rustlers looted two cattle from a kraal in Agoro Trading center which they later abandoned after being pursued by the UPDF.

In December last year, unknown gunmen from South Sudan invaded neighboring Lokung Sub-county and abducted two females including a 15 year old girl. They were however released by the gunmen who are said to have raped one of the females.