Army, ASTU, Police Deploy In Otuke As Herdsmen Refuse to Vacate

2628 Views Otuke, Uganda

In short
Last week, elders from Karamoja pleaded with their counterparts in Lango to allow the herdsmen to stay in the area in vain. Ambrose Lotuke, the Kotido District LC V chairman argued that the prolonged drought has taken a huge toll on their lives and livestock.

There is joint deployment of Uganda Peoples' Defense Forces -UPDF, the Anti-Stock Theft Unit-ASTU and regular Police to flush Jie herdsmen from Otuke district. In December, a group of Jie herdsmen from Kotido district invaded Olilim and Ogwete Sub Counties in Otuke district in search of pasture and water for their animals triggering panic among residents.

 
 
On Wednesday last week, a meeting held at Olilim Sub County headquarters involving Otuke and Kotido district officials, area legislators, local leaders and security bosses resolved to expel the herdsmen with immediate effect. The meeting was chaired by Otuke Resident District Commissioner, Robert Abak.
 

However, the herdsmen have refused to vacate their area. Instead their colleagues from the Bokora community in Amudat and Nakapiripirit districts have poured in the area in the past few days. According to Abak, much as they had also restricted the movement of herdsmen to other parts of the district, they have spread to as far as Amodo-nyanga and Akurukodoi.
 
 
He says they have received reports that another huge group of Bokora herdsmen are moving through Amuria, Obalannga heading towards Omoro in Alebong district.
 

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According to Abak, the presence of the herdsmen in Lango is not only illegal, but that the Jie and Bokora can never live together peacefully, which raises security concerns. According to Abak, residents are living in fear following the long history of cattle rustling by Karimojong warriors in the area.




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He says as a result, UPDF, ASTU and regular police personnel have deployed jointly to monitor the activities of the pastoralists and block them from any further movement to other areas of Lango region.
 

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Elders from Lango region have also intervened to try and end the impasse. According to Abak, a group of cultural leaders led by Yosam Odur, the Lango Paramount chief are scheduled to meet their Karamoja counterparts at Olilim sub county headquarters on Wednesday to chat a way forward.


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Last week, elders from Karamoja pleaded with their counterparts in Lango to allow the herdsmen to stay in the area in vain. Ambrose Lotuke, the Kotido District LC V chairman argued that the prolonged drought has taken a huge toll on their lives and livestock.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.