By Immaculate Amony

Security agencies in Lango Sub Region has blamed the recent cases of mob action in the region on use of drugs and lack of trust on the police.

While speaking during a community dialogue on Mob Justice organised by Wits arts foundation in Lira Town, the security leaders said they do not support mob action and are working against the clock to ensure that  people desist from taking laws into their hands.

Lira DPC George Obia addressing the meeting.

ASP Orech Michael, the Lira District Community Liaison Officer says the reason why mob action is taking place is the causes of crime in a society and the use of drugs.

“There is high bunky smoking in this sub region (jai) and nobody should deny this. This is one of the causes of this mob action. People are using drugs and these drugs when they smoke or drink them like alcohol is a drug then they can go for these violent crimes which later get them killed.”

He blamed the youths for being idle. “Most of our youths have decided to just sit idle. In other wards lazy, they don’t want to perform and if you are just there idle, the body is demanding so many  things you’ll be compelled to steal, that situation will force you to steal”

Adding that “if you look around most of the complains of this mob action is on theft where  you will get a youth being killed by mob.”

Meanwhile  Patrick Abal, the clan head of Arak Ongoda Clan believes that mob action is a punishment from God for the bad things that people are doing.

“As cultural leaders we are concerned that the extreme weathers Lango is experiencing these days probably are the results of the curse from “Jojok- amalu”. He is concerned how his children are behaving. He is concerned why we are offering people by way of burning them to him. This is not how we used to do our things.”

He advised the other cultural leaders to follow suit in teaching their people non- violent means of solving conflicts.

“As a cultural leader  I have even directed in my clan that if you caught stealing and killed as a clan we shall not go for blood compensation but will collect and burry you like a dog. This is very clear, maybe we need to be talking like this so that the youth understands what it is all about.”

On the other hand, the District Police Commander for Lira District Mr George Obia attributed the high rate of mob justice to loss of trust on the police.

Accross-section of the participants in attendance.

“Mob action it’s a community challenge which has been reduced to loss of trust on the police but let me talk this opportunity to inform all of us that the responsibility of ensuring that persons suspected to have committed crime are punished through the legal means: it is a judicial system/ justice system.”

Adding that most times mob action cases are those that have not been reported to police.

“Most of the mob action cases are those that have not been reported to police; somebody is suspected to have committed a crime in the village they get him  before you realize it thy mobilize and he is beaten to death at times at night.”

The first incident of mob action is one which occurred in April 2018 when locals raided Lira Regional Referral Hospital mortuary and took away the body of a man identified as Solomon Odongo, a suspected notorious robber who had escaped from police custody and burnt it to ashes using petrol.

On April 17 this year, locals ganged up against a businessman identified as Okello Onguu who had been accused of stealing a cow  in Bala sub-county, Kole District and tortured him to death. They latter set his body ablaze.

A day later, another person identified as Jimmy Owiny was beaten to death, his body doused with petrol and set alight.

A resident of Barogole, Ojwina Division in Lira Municipality, where Owiny was killed accused him of trying to rob a motorcycle.

On Easter Sunday, residents of Alyato Village, Alito sub-county in Kole District, killed two youth after they were found in possession of suspected stolen goats. The victims were Jasper Opio and Isaac Agwa. End.