According to Meri, there is a new element of commercialization of rustling, where wrongdoers connive to steal cows. He noted in the past, Karamojong used to raid for prestige, but it is currently driven by the desire for money.
officials want the government to compensate for 55000 lost to cattle rustling between
2019 and 2022. Jino Meri, the LC V Chairperson of Kaabong district, says
that many residents have lost their lives and animals to rustlers, which has
the community economically and socially.
According to Meri, there
is a new element of commercialization of rustling, where wrongdoers connive to
steal cows. He noted in the past, Karamojong used to raid for prestige,
but it is currently driven by the desire for money. “Sometimes the security
forces track these animals but in most cases footmarks disappear along the way
and they end up being loaded in lorries and transported outside Karamoja,” said
explains that the raiders sell the animals and immediately
start hunting for more.
//Cue in: “Kaabong district lost over 55000’’
Cue out:…the cow's stolen end up in markets,’’//
Capt. Mike Okiria, the Kaabong Resident District Commissioner,
says that they have already compiled reports about the lost animals pending
verification by the state attorney for further action. Okiria said that
they are confident that the government will compensate their people because the
situation is contributing to the biting poverty in families.
Okiria noted that fighting insecurity is a big
challenge because the community is mixed up with collaborators, which makes it
difficult for security to identify the perpetrators. He also blamed the
increasing insecurity in Kaabong on the porous borders between the district and
the nearby armed Turkana community in Kenya that facilitates the easy movement
of stolen cattle and entry of illegal guns. He, however, notes that the cattle raids have
slowed down due to interventions of the security forces.
//Cue in ‘’the compilation has been done’’
Cue out:…..we have not been able to protect,’’//
John Lokiru, a pastoralist in Sidok sub-county in
Kaabong district, says that they have been rendered vulnerable and blamed
security forces for failing to stem the cattle raids. Lokiru says that the army
has done nothing to protect their animals from the enemies who have been
He said that a cow is the only source of
livelihood and without it, their families cannot stand. Apanakuruk Loruk,
another pastoralist in the same sub-county, says that he lost over 500 cattle
to suspected warriors from Kotido district and none was recovered despite
efforts by security to track them. Loruk said his life revolved around cattle,
which is a main source of nutrients in the form of milk and fresh blood for
food, but now that joy is no more.
He also revealed that having a big herd is often a
reliable indicator of a man’s strength and the status of the family but
unfortunately he can no longer speak as a man. Loruk urged the
government to solve the issue of insecurity and restock the area because they
cannot live without a cow given the type of climate they live in that doesn’t
In March 2022, President Yoweri Museveni launched
livestock compensation payments for claimants and beneficiaries from Acholi,
Lango, and Teso sub-regions. He also pledged to include Karamoja in the list of
regions to be compensated for losses resulting from cattle rustling.