Ugandan EALA MPs urge Kenya to disarm Turkana and Pokot pastoralists

Armed Turkana and Pokot are entering Uganda with their herds of cattle in search of water and pasture and this has raised the danger of violent confrontations with the different communities in Karamoja.

The Uganda peoples defence forces started disarming the Karimojong in 2002. Close to fifteen years since the exercise was started, the region has registered peace, and cattle raids among the Karimojong are much fewer.

However, the exercise left the Karimojong vulnerable to attacks from the Turkana and Pokot of Kenya because the Kenyan government has not fully implemented a disarmament programme.

Now Ugandan representatives in the East African Legislative Assembly want Kenya and Uganda to work together to disarm the two Kenyan pastoralist communities.In a presentation to the house, Susan Nakawuki said the ongoing drought which has affected Northern Kenya, forces the armed Turkana to enter Uganda with their herds of cattle in search of water and pasture. The Turkana have come into conflict with the different Karimojong communities which have sometimes resulted in deaths.

During the debate in Kigali, Rwanda, of a report on pastoral communities the MPs also observed that many school-going children among the pastoral communities of Longido in Tanzania and Kajiado in Kenya, drop out and cross to Kenya to graze animals for money.

The regional legislators resolved to further assess the situation between the Karimojong and the Turkana to resolve the clashes between the two pastoral communities.

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