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Panic as Karamojong Herdsmen Advance Towards Otuke

Joseph Okello, a resident of Angaro village in Olilim Sub County, says they are at risk of losing their animals once the herdsmen are allowed to enter the district.
There is tight security on the borders of Otuke district to block Karamojong pastoralists from entering the district with their livestock in search of water and pasture. It follows reports on Christmas that Karamojong herdsmen were sighted in some parishes in Ogor and Ogwete Sub Counties that border Otuke, Abim and Katakwi districts.

Robert Abak, the Otuke Resident District Commissioner, says they received intelligence reports early this week indicating that Karamojong pastoralists were seen advancing to Otuke district with livestock mainly goats, sheep and cattle. Abak says they have since tightened security and intelligent along border lines with the aim of blocking the herdsmen from the entering the district.

He says they have also on a vigorous community mobilization campaign to ensure vigilance among residents and encourage them to report any illegal entrance by the herdsmen. Bosco Odongo, the Ogor Sub County LC III Chairperson, says a group of Karamojong herdsmen was sighted grazing livestock in Ogor Parish early this week. 

He says the entry of the herdsmen contravenes a council resolution prohibiting the group from entering the district. He says the herdsmen often enter peacefully but still animals from residents went returning to their areas.Joseph Okello, a resident of Angaro village in Olilim Sub County, says they are at risk of losing their animals once the herdsmen are allowed to enter the district. 

Okello insists that the authorities should block the herdsmen from entering the district, saying they also need to preserve pasture for their livestock. It is common for Karamojong pastoralists to enter Otuke and Alebtong districts during dry season in search of water and pastures for their animals. 

In 2017, Otuke District Security Committee tried in vain to block the Karamojong pastoralists from entering the district in search of water and pastures for their livestock.

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