By Aluma Aribo
Arua. The reorganization and mushrooming criminal gangs has become a security threat to the communities in Arua town as the police downplays their threat.
Arua town has been insecure with many gun wielding men killed businessmen in the town and robbed huge sums of money from homes. Now, the trend has returned especially from mid last year.
But the police say some of the gangs have either been jailed or their networks dismantled.
The District Police Commander, Mr Jude Nasucha, told West Nile Press Online that the gangs had been neutralized and could not pose a substantive threat to the residents.
“We are using both covert and overt means to get them, we have neutralized them to the extent that they couldn’t cause any threat during the New Year festivities,” Nasucha said.
He said criminal gangs known as “fire eaters” located in Oli division of Arua municipality had always robbed revelers and raped women during the festivities but no single incident had been recorded since then.
Ismail Ijosiga, a resident of Bibia cell said: “What I don’t understand is that these thugs are all known by the residents and the police, when they are arrested, they serve a few sentences in prison and then come and start where they had stopped.”
But with the insecurity in South Sudan and the influx of South Sudan refugees into the west Nile region, local officials say that the criminals who had earlier fled to South Sudan had all come back and that they were the ones terrorizing residents.
Police has also identified several dark spots in the town where the gangs are suspected to be regrouping from but that the areas had been secured. Some of the black spots include Onzivu Streets and its corridors, Barifa road, Adumi road as targeted areas for the gangs.
The absence of street lights on Arua’s main streets has also contributed to the escalation of insecurity in the municipality.