Karimojong Warrior Arrested in South Sudan for Firearms Trafficking

South Sudan | The Black Examiner – South Sudan authorities have apprehended a suspected Karimojong warrior involved in trafficking firearms into the Karamoja sub-region. The unidentified individual, believed to be from Karenga district, was arrested in Budi County, Eastern Equatorial region of South Sudan while attempting to purchase guns for smuggling into Karenga district.

Felix Mark Lochale, the LC5 Chairperson for Karenga district, confirmed that he received a message from the Budi County commissioner regarding the arrest of the Ugandan national engaged in illegal gun trafficking. Lochale indicated that they are awaiting the repatriation of the suspect to Karenga district, where he will be identified and face legal charges.

He expressed deep concern about the rampant firearms trafficking in the district, primarily due to its porous border with South Sudan. This influx of illegal weapons has complicated the security efforts of district authorities. Lochale highlighted their collaborative efforts with South Sudan authorities to combat the illicit firearms trade between South Sudanese communities and the Karimojong in Uganda.

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Anthony Lomuria, an Opinion Leader in Moroto district, pointed out that despite government initiatives to encourage firearm surrender, the circulation of illegal guns persists due to the porous borders with neighboring armed communities. Lomuria emphasized that many smuggled firearms are concealed, awaiting the government’s response to insecurity. He urged the government to devise effective solutions for managing the porous borders to reduce the influx of illicit firearms and disrupt the cycle of gun violence in the region.

In 2021, during the launch of the Usalama Kwa Wote disarmament program, joint security forces pledged to enhance security for Karimojong pastoralists and curb firearms trafficking along the Kenya and South Sudan borders. However, the porous nature of the borders and the movement of pastoralists have posed challenges in distinguishing between criminals and the local population they aim to protect.

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