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Kitgum Residents Evict Pastoralists as Presidential Ultimatum Expires

The herdsmen were evicted by a group of vigilante youths led by the Lolwa and Gule parish councillors. The group escorted the pastoralists alongside their animals estimated to be over 200 in number to the Sub County headquarters.

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Several pastoralists have been forcefully ejected from Orom Sub County in Kitgum district.

The herdsmen were evicted by a group of vigilante youths led by the Lolwa and Gule parish councillors. The group escorted the pastoralists alongside their animals estimated to be over 200 in number to the Sub County headquarters.

The Orom Sub County LCIII Chairperson Johnson Acellam Toodera says that the locals acted in the enforcement of the November 2, directive by President Yoweri Museveni, in which he issued a two months ultimatum for the pastoralists to vacate the Northern Uganda region.

President Museveni issued the directive after reports that the pastoralists were invading people’s land and engaging in political activities. According to Toodera, the herdsmen had occupied the villages of Akadojwat and Agoromin in Gule parish and their presence was reportedly causing tension between them and the host community.

//Cue in; “dyang ki kwanyo…

Cue out…ko nining.”//

Gule Parish Councilor III Paul Olanya says they mobilized to evict the herdsmen because prior to their expulsion, the pastoralists had clashed with local residents on numerous occasions over ownership of the land amidst community members.

The locals had accused David Akera and David Oringa all residents of Akadojwat village of renting out part of land belonging to the family of Moses Bongomin to the pastoralists which had spurred a land conflict over the land being occupied by the herdsmen.

Olanya says in addition to their illegal stay in the area, the invasion was breeding war between them and the locals who allege being deprived access to a community dam within the area and that their animals were reportedly destroying crop gardens.

//Cue in; “pien jo ca…

Cue out…..wegi ngomi.”//

However some of the pastoralists say that they had hired the said land and are in possession of agreements granting them stay until the end of the dry season in March. One of the pastoralists identified as Fred Murokole decried the forceful eviction saying they will drag those behind the eviction to court because they are legally occupying the land on which they have been grazing their animals.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech says the eviction was peaceful since the police have not registered any case of violence against the evicted herdsmen. Komakech says the evicted pastoralists were in early December last year issued with a two weeks ultimatum to vacate the land they had occupied and some heeded the directive although others remained adamant.