Two soldiers from the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) were shot and killed, and another was injured by suspected cattle rustlers in Nakapiripirit district. The incident occurred on Monday evening at around 8 pm near Molunyangai Hill within the Pian Upe Game Reserve.
The soldiers from the 51st Infantry Battalion were tracking approximately 300 stolen cattle that had been rustled from the Kobion area in Nakapiripirit District’s Loleng sub-county. The troops were ambushed by armed Pokot warriors in a triple attack. In the line of duty, Lieutenant John Ojur Ssentongo and an unidentified colleague lost their lives.
Another soldier was injured during the attack. The rustlers successfully took the stolen cattle across the border into Kenya’s West Pokot County. Isaac Oware, the spokesperson for UPDF’s 3rd division, confirmed the incident and condemned the ambush carried out by the armed Pokot warriors.
Oware highlighted that this attack directly violated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Uganda and Kenya, which was aimed at preventing cross-border raids. He emphasized that armed individuals crossing into Uganda’s territory and causing the loss of security personnel, civilians, and property significantly undermines the bilateral relations between the two East African countries.
“We urge the authorities in West Pokot County to identify the criminals, bring them to justice, and recover the 400 stolen cows,” Oware stated. He reiterated that the UPDF leadership in the region is committed, both by mandate and responsibility, to conducting operations against all armed criminal elements coming from neighboring countries.