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Pastoralists Forcefully Escorted On Foot Out of Kitgum

The forceful eviction follows the expiry of an ultimatum issued by both the sub-county leaders and the district security to the pastoralists also known as balalo to vacate the sub-county by October 1st. The pastoralist had settled in Pinymunu village in Pajimo Parish after their arrival with 35 heads of cattle for fattening from Ngora District on September 12 this year.
The long horned Ankole cattle belonging to Balalo pastoralists grazing in Pinymunu village in Pajimo Parish, Kitgum District.

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The leadership of Labongo Akwang Sub-county in Kitgum District on Friday forcefully escorted on foot three pastoralists along with their cattle out of their area to the neighbouring Lamwo district.

The forceful eviction follows the expiry of an ultimatum issued by both the sub-county leaders and the district security to the pastoralists also known as balalo to vacate the sub-county by October 1. 

The pastoralist had settled in Pinymunu village in Pajimo Parish after their arrival with 35 head of cattle for fattening from Ngora District on September 12 this year.

The Labongo Akwang Sub County Chairperson Mark Rubangakene says the pastoralists had become defiant to vacate the area forcing a team of local leaders to escort them out of their settlements.

Luo

//cue in: “joni kine ka…

Cue out:…mako yoo palabek”//

Rubangakene says the pastoralists were first issued with animal travel permits from the district veterinary officer before being allowed to proceed to Lamwo District via Kitgum-Palabek road.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech says the pastoralists hadn’t informed security in the district of their planned entry to fatten their animals. He noted that a two weeks’ ultimatum that was issued elapsed on Friday adding that despite a plea from some of the locals to extend some grace period, they chose to have the pastoralists evicted.

Luo

//cue in: “Balalo odonyo i…

Cue out:…omito gi oa.”//

Benon Eric Kizza, one of the pastoralists however faults some of the politicians in the sub-county for going against an agreement made between him and a landowner allowing them to graze their land until November this year.

Last week, the Chua West Member of Parliament Philip Okin Ojara threatened to mobilize his locals to kill cattle belonging to the balalo herdsmen should they fail to vacate the area by the start of this month.  Security however cautioned him against inciting the locals and instead advised him to use dialogue to see their peaceful eviction.

In 2018, hundreds of balalo herdsmen were forcefully evicted from Acholi Sub-region and Adjumani district following a December 2017 directive from President Museveni. the eviction arose from numerous complaints on land-related conflicts sparked by presence of the pastoralists on communally owned land especially in Acholi.

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