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Turkana Pastoralists Invade Kaabong

The invasion has forced 3rd Division UPDF in Moroto to deploy helicopters to track and pursue suspected cattle thieves and the stolen animals.
Recovered cattle in Rupa.

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Unspecified number of Turkana Pastoralists have invaded Kaabong and reportedly stolen more than 400 cattle from the district.

The invasion has forced 3rd Division UPDF in Moroto to deploy helicopters to track and pursue suspected cattle thieves and the stolen animals. 

According to the 3rd Division Spokesman, Capt. Albert Arinaitwe, the pastoralists started entering the district a fortnight ago. He explains that soon after their entry, cases of cattle thefts have increased in the district. He notes that although 437 cattle were stolen across Karamoja in April, records in Kaabong indicate that more than 100 cattle were stolen in the district last week.

Capt. Arinaitwe says the Turkana Pastoralists enter Kaabong daily and return to Kenya with stolen animals from Uganda. He adds that a number of Turkana Pastoralists are still armed, something of concern to the security in Karamoja.

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Capt. Arinaitwe revealed that the army has also recovered 1,007 animals in April alone. He notes that most of the cattle thefts are now concentrated in Kaabong, Kotido and Abim districts.

He told URN that while the Turkana are stealing cattle from Kaabong, the Jie community from Kotido is also stealing from their neighbours in Abim, Kapelebyong and Agago districts. 

Cattle thefts have remained a challenge in Karamoja sub-region, more than a decade after disarmament. Some of the perpetrators use guns in stealing while others take advantage of the laxity of herdsmen to steal cattle. 

As the Turkana steal from the Karimojong, the Karimojong also do the same when the Turkana pastoralists enter with their animals for grazing during dry season.