Rwamirama ordered that no livestock will be allowed into the district until January 25 next year when a comprehensive audit of the balalo herdsmen is completed by a select committee comprising the district security committee, local leaders, and the cultural institution.
government has banned the movement of livestock in Amuru district.
The Minister of State for Animal Industry, Lt. Col. Bright Rwamirama says that
the directive follows complaints of illegal entry of livestock and invasion of
the non-native herdsmen commonly known as balalo in the area.
The Minister issued the directive on Thursday at Attiak Sub County during a
meeting with the balalo herdsmen, residents, leaders, and security officials
held at Okidi Primary School.
The team included top army and police officers from the Acholi Sub Region, The
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem, and was headed by Gen.
David Muhoozi the State Minister for Internal Affairs.
Rwamirama ordered that no livestock will be allowed into the district until
January 25 next year when a comprehensive audit of the balalo herdsmen is
completed by a select committee comprising the district security committee,
local leaders, and the cultural institution.
The Minister added that the uncontrolled livestock movement from other
districts has greatly caused the government a lot of money to control the Foot
and Mouth Disease (FMD). He added that anyone who defies the order will have
their livestock impounded and auctioned by the government.
//Cue in: ‘’livestock is a…
Cue out: …given health certificate.’’//
Gen. Muhoozi who led the team said that the problem with the balalo herdsmen
has been recurrent since the year 2016 something that has prompted the
government to intervene.
He also ordered that all the balalo herdsmen in the area will be thoroughly
audited within two weeks. The audit will include taking their
particulars, numbers of animals and how they came to exist in the district, and
how they acquired lands, and the nature of ownership in the area.
//Cue in: ‘’issues of registering…
Cue out: ..is court air.’’/
The State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem added that the
existence and uncontrolled entries of the balalo herdsmen in the area has not
only caused the destruction of people`s farmlands but also caused insecurity.
He also ordered that all the balalo herdsmen whose animals are roaming in the
area without gazetted land must be issued with movement permits so that they
vacate the area with immediate effect.
Samuel Akera, the Attiak Sub County Chairperson estimates that there are over
15,000 heads of cattle in Okidi Sub County which is the most populated area by
Akera welcomed the directive noting that as a Sub County they had failed to
document the balalo herdsmen adding their presence has also led to the
destruction of forest and encroachment on natural resources as well as causing
land conflicts in the area.
//Cue in: ‘’mok ducu mukato…
Cue out: …kal me Attiak.’’//
Justo Okot, the Prime Minister Acholi Cultural Chiefdom also welcomed the
directive noting that it will relieve the area of degradation and also recover
lost cultural sites in the area.
Stephen Bajingo, one of the herdsmen in Okidi Sub County and head of the balalo
herdsmen who are grazing in the Acholi Sub-region welcomed the verification
exercise and said that they will abide by all the directives.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc