There is fear that if East Africa fails to adapt to the threat, cattle rustling may expand into new geographic areas and create new organised crime cartels.
and its neighbors have been asked to make laws to criminalize cattle rustling
despite traditional attitudes. Researchers
say while cattle rustling has been widely viewed as a cultural issue practice,
the reality is that it is another form of transnational organized crime.
Head of EU Foreign Policy Instruments Regional Team in Nairobi, Ignacio Burrull
said there is a growing threat of cattle rustling as a form of transnational organized
crime as well as its connection to other forms of crimes such as arms
rustling and theft casts a spotlight on livestock theft as an emerging security
challenge. It calls for fresh analysis and solutions to the growing phenomena
of cattle rustling.” Said Burrull in a virtual seminar on cattle rustling.
in “In the past two decades ......
Out......powerful individual and transnational groups”/////
to studies by ENACT, cattle rustling has for long been viewed as an acceptable practice.
to the communities, this is something very normal to them except that they are
now losing life. But without losing life, they are comfortable doing it” reads
one of the findings.
is an EU funded project implemented
by the Institute for Security Studies and INTERPOL, in affiliation with the
Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime.
project is pushing for revitalization of a protocol adopted by East Africa Police
Chief Organization (EAPCO) to fight cattle rustling.
protocol popularly known as Mifugo Project
was launched by EAPCO and the Institute for
Security Studies in 2008. It was supposed be used to prevent, combat and
eradicate cattle rustling.
was however not implemented due to lack of funding. Only Uganda has so far
signed and ratified the protocol.
Cattle rustling occurs when
‘a group of individuals plan, organise and
steal livestock forcefully from another person or from the grazing field or
kraal for the purpose of commercial gain.
cattle rustling includes components like a nexus between illicit business and political
power. Money from trade in illicit military grade arms and ammunition is lubricating
the world of cattle rustling.
lot of times, cattle are bought in cash. And then that cash is moved. Buying
cattle holding them and waiting to sell them to the abattoirs is a very good
way to launder any money that they have acquired to other illicit activities”
rise of transnational rustling goes hand in hand with the rise in transnational
trade in military weapons.
manufacture of bullets by certain governments like the Kenyan government which
has a bullet factory in Eldoret. The smuggling of those bullets fueled the
possibility of using the guns even more” said one of the activist from Kenya
it is quite easy to access bullets from Ethiopia, from Somalia, we used to see a
lot from Sudan and Uganda. Though the Ugandan one, they have done a lot from
their said. We also need to do a lot from our side”
rustlers reportedly exchange a number of head of cattle for guns. The more sophisticated
the gun, the more cattle are paid by the rustlers.
Why Uganda Is taking lead in Criminalization Cattle Rustling
experts are urging Kenya and other countries in the horn of Africa to take a
leaf from Uganda if they are to combat transitional cattle rustling.
A Senior Chief State Attorney, at the
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Lillian Alum said the law in Uganda
criminalizes cattle theft and cattle rustling.
“our laws differentiate between cattle
rustling and cattle theft. And they are both punishable. For cattle theft, if
you are prosecuted and convicted for the first time, you are convicted to a
maximum punishment of seven years” revealed
Alum says for cattle rustling, the
law provides that the theft must have been committed by one community against another.
And there must be a movement from one community to another.
////Cue In “ If you rustle cattle...
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region of Karamoja”. /////
She says the army has also been
deployed in Karamoja and along the borders with Kenya and other countries to prevent
cross-border cattle rustling.
She says while the government in Uganda had disarmed
the Karamojong, cattle raiding has resumed with arms flowing in from neighbors
like South Sudan, Kenya and a far as Ethiopia.
Alum says the revitalization of the
Mifugo protocal can help Uganda to jointly fight cross boarder cattle rustling
between the Karamojong and Pokot in Kenya.
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Martin Ewi, ENACT Regional
Coordinator for Southern Africa says the 13 police chiefs from East African
Police Chiefs are expected to consider the reviewed Mifugo Protocol mid this
He says there is urgent need for a common stand against militarization of
cattle rustling and to end whet eh calls senseless killings.
“ Cattle rustling has evolved from cultural
practice to one of the revenue generating crimes. It is increasingly being searched
for by organized crime syndicates and organized crimes groups” he said
////Cue IN “People carrying AK47s...
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There is hope that market controls
would ensure only honest pastoralists profit from their cattle rather than organised