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Over 500 people stranded after Karamojong attack in Katakwi

The IDPs are currently surviving on support from the host community in Ongongoja village, where they have taken refuge.

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The house that was burnt down during the raid on 12th May, 2020.

A total of 570 people from 95 households have taken refuge in Ongongoja primary School, in Katakwi district of north eastern Uganda, after a raid by Karamojong that occurred on Tuesday 11th May, 2020. 

The Internally Displaced Persons [IDPs] are from the villages of Okameta, Oburatum and Akou-Etom, all found along the borderline sub counties of Ongongoja in Katakwi and Poron in Napak district. 

Aica has also learnt that five people are hospitalised in Soroti regional Referral Hospital after sustaining severe injuries during the night of the attack. 

The hospitalised are Simon Olupot [in critical condition], Joseph Okolimo, Busiberito Ocan, Joseph Malinga and Buruno Balaba, who are all residents from the affected villages. 

The Katakwi district administration held a meeting with the IDPs yesterday [Thursday 14th May, 2020], chaired by the District Deputy RDC, Vincent Enomu, and a number of issues were raised by the affected. 

The displaced people in a meeting chaired by Deputy RDC, Vincent Enomu.

The displaced persons pointed fingers at the leadership of Napak administration for being the influencers of attacks and requested government to immediately deploy troops along the border. 

“We do not sleep in our houses for fear of Karamojong attackers,” stressed Joseph Etinu, an IDP from Okameta village. 

Etinu added that, they [the affected] are always defeated because the attackers are armed with ammunition. 

Three houses that belong to Stephen Elukut, Michael Okolimo and Gabriel Ogwang were burnt down during the raid and animals and property, including crops in the gardens were destroyed by the attackers. 

Relief 

The IDPs are currently surviving on support from the host community in Ongongoja village, where they have taken refuge. 

On Wednesday, Palu Ongoet, a whistle-blower and an activist in the district, took support of salt and soap for the 95 households, meanwhile waiting for government’s response. 

“This is unfortunate; I urge you to continue staying strong as Ateker [Community],” said Ongoet while delivering his support. 

The Katakwi district Woman MP, Akurut Violet Adome, told Aica that they as leaders have called upon the Office of the Prime Minister to allocate an immediate support in form of food and non-food items for the displaced persons. 

“We have asked the UPDF to deploy immediately to rescue the situation. The OPM will deliver food for the victims as soon as possible,” said Akurut. 

The MP also added that: “this issue will be raised on the floor of Parliament next week for medium- and long-term solutions for the continued atrocities carried out by Karamojongs.” 

Speculations are that the conflict is as a result of contest for the border line. 

The contested land is between Ongongoja sub county in Katakwi and the newly created Poro sub county in Napak district. 

Also read: Teso- Karamoja colonial border maps retrieved from London 

Walter Elakas Okiring, the LCV Chairman for Katakwi, told Aica that, there is going to be a Security meeting on Tuesday next week [May 19th, 2020] to help arrive at a common solution. 

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Noah Omuya

Noah Omuya is the founder and CEO of Aica Communications LTD, a Company that currently runs an online news publication (www.aica.co.ug) with a plan of beginning to print Magazines and a newspaper in Ateso language in 2020. He is a Media challenge Fellow- class of 2019 and he has specialized training in writing, strategic and multimedia communication, mainstream and online journalism from the Media challenge fellowship and Kampala International University, where he pursued his Bachelors of Mass Communication. At the age of 18, Omuya was a train-on-job employee with Joshua 93.5 FM where he acquired a three years’ demonstrable experience in broadcast media, content development, public relations and, marketing and promotions strategies for private businesses, public entities and non-profit organizations, as well as engaging with traditional media. He scooped a Media Challenge award for the best feature essay writer of the year 2018. He was also first runner up for the refugee broadcast story of the year, and second runner up for radio feature story teller. The Media Challenge Award qualified him to be part of the Media Challenge Fellowship, where he has got intensive training in solutions journalism, political reporting, investigative reporting, youth participatory radio, multimedia journalism, and data journalism. At the fellowship, he has been trained by international celebrated journalists from BBC, CNN, Reuters, AFP, NBS Tv, UBC Tv, NTV, New Vision, Daily Monitor among other recognized institutes. He also has hands-on experience in research, in different private organizations in Uganda; experience in media relations with regular assignments in field reporting, marketing and public relations.

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