Two people including a UPDF soldier are nursing bullet injuries sustained during a fire exchange between the army and armed South Sudanese cattle rustlers in Madi Opei sub county, Lamwo district on Monday.
The civilian casualty has been identified as Peter Abac, a resident of Dogtangi village in Lawiye Oduny parish, who sustained fractures in the leg while the yet to be identified soldier from the UPDF Lamwo Battalion’s Bana Bana barracks was shot in the chest.
The Madi Opei sub county LCIII chairperson Felix Nyero Lawii, confirms the incident saying both casualties are currently receiving treatment at Madi Opei health centre IV where medics say their condition is stable.
According to Lawii, the injured were part of joint a operation consisting of the UPDF, Anti Stock Theft Unit-ASTU personnel and local residents who had embarked on a pursuit of suspected cattle thieves after they raided cattle from Dogtangi village in Lawiye Oduny parish.
The armed rustlers said to have come in a large number, raided 39 heads of cattle belonging to Olon Olonyi and John Apila on Monday morning and swiftly drove them towards Tseretenya Bomah in Ikotos county of South Sudan.
Upon receiving the information about the raid, residents alerted the UPDF soldiers who accompanied by residents embarked on a pursuit that saw a gun fight erupt between the rustlers and the army.
Lawi says the pursuit saw the army and the armed rustlers spend the better part of Monday engaged in a shootout along the border of Uganda and South Sudan where two people were injured and some animals recovered.
Lamwo Resident District Commissioner James Nabinson Kidega says they managed to recover 26 animals although due to the mountainous terrain, the armed rustlers managed to escape with some of the animals to the other side in South Sudan.
Kidega says they are in touch with his counterpart, the Ikotos County Commissioner who says authorities in South Sudan have embarked on a search to ensure the rustlers are apprehended and the stolen animals recovered.