Security Deploys at Napak- Katakwi Border

1265 Views Napak, Uganda

In short
Tony Odonga, the Katakwi District Police Commander, says the deployment is normal and part of their security operations to avert any eventualities. He notes that deployment will continue until the tension at the border comes down.

Uganda People's Defense Forces and police have jointly deployed along the contested Napak-Katakwi district border. The deployment stems from protests by Napak residents and their leaders on Saturday that left scores injured.
 

Napak district is contesting the boundary opening by the Minister of Local Government, Tom Butime last week. Butime declared that two contested villages of Alekilek and Kodike belong to Katakwi leaving Napak with Kaithelem market. 



The decision didn't go down well with Napak district officials and residents prompting them to stage protests across the district. On Tuesday, MPs from Karamoja condemned the declaration of the border that they described as biased.

 
The MPs resolved to petition the Speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on the matter in a meeting held at Napak district headquarters. As a result, security police and the army have tightened security in the contested area.

 
The officers are deployed about one kilometer from Iriiri trading center on the side of Teso border. Police patrol vehicles mainly from Teso are seen ferrying officers and manning the deployment at the border. 


Tony Odonga, the Katakwi District Police Commander, says the deployment is normal and part of their security operations to avert any eventualities. He notes that deployment will continue until the tension at the border comes down.

 
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During the meeting on Tuesday, the Pian MP, Remigio Achia raised concern over the deployment, saying it might trigger tension between the two communities.

 
He however said the border dispute shouldn't degenerate into insecurity among the Iteso and Karimojong. Walter Elakas Okiring, the Katakwi district LC V chairperson, says security decided to deploy in response to the protests from Napak side.
 

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Napak claims that more than 43, 000 hectares of land have been curved into Katakwi. They also note that the process undertaken to open the boundary was not fair since they were not involved.


 

While making the declaration on the contested areas, Butime said the conclusion was reached after a study of the 1962 Constitution and the transfer of coordinates to a map, which showed the boundaries of Napak and Katakwi districts. 




Information obtained by URN indicates that attempts to open the Napak- Katakwi border first failed in 2009 when Moroto, the then mother district of Napak rejected the marks by the directorate of lands and survey.
 



In 2016, another attempt by government to open the administrative boundary between two districts hit a snag when Napak rejected findings from the survey by Mutiland Company Limited in 2015, which was contracted by government.