Police intercepts bus trafficking 17 Karimojong children

Activists call for measures to combat child neglect
Street children in Kampala. Trafficking of children from Karamoja is rife.

Napak, Uganda | URN | Police in Napak district in Karamoja region have impounded a Gateway Bus for trying to sneak out with 17 children to Kampala.

Police intercepted the bus registration number UAY 205 U on Sunday 23, May 2021 morning with 17 Karimojong children on board destined for an unknown destination.

This came a few days after police impounded a taxi registration number UBJ 438J smuggling out eleven children last week. Security intercepted the vehicle at the same checkpoint where the bus was intercepted.

Guard Murungi, the Napak District Police Commander, says that they also arrested the driver and conductor of the bus, saying they will appear in court today.

He says the intercepted Karimojong children are teenagers between 12 to 15 years. “We are not taking child trafficking as something slightly,“ he said. Betty Nakut, one of the residents of Iriiri Sub County, says the suspect should not be released on bail.

“How I wish court denies all those arrested trafficking children bail so that they first go and serve in prison, this will send a strong message to everyone dealing in child trafficking, “he said.

Goreti Napus, another resident called upon the government to do thorough investigations on who are the people behind the endless child trafficking in Karamoja. “We need to get the route course and the people behind this criminal activity,” she said.

Read Also: Suspected Ugandan serial child trafficker arrested at Elegu border

According to Ms Esther Munyesi, the Senior Napak District Community Development Officer in charge of gender told this publication that child trafficking has continued despite several steps put in place by the district to stop the vice.

She noted that between March to June 2020, 347 cases were recorded, adding that between 30 to 40 girls are trafficked every month.

Munyesi appeals to the police to ensure that the parents of the affected children should also be arrested to face the same charges.