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Napak, Katakwi Leaders in War of Words over Boundary Dispute

The accusations follow a long standoff by the district leadership of Napak and Katakwi over administrative boundary. In February, the Local Government Minister, Tom Butime opened the boundary for the two districts but no common ground has been reached by the two districts.
Residents of Alekilek village, the contested area of Katakwi and Napak districts.

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Counter accusations have emerged between Napak and Katakwi leaders over the boundary dispute. 

In February, the Local Government Minister, Tom Butime opened the boundary for the two districts but no common ground has been reached by the two districts.

Napak contends that the pronouncement by the minister encroached on their land in Alekilek and Kodike. The two villages, previously under Napak district were curved into Katakwi district, leaving Napak with Kaithelem market. The market and the two villages have been at the centre of contention between the two districts.

Now, the two districts have started pointing figures on each other. Napak accuses Katakwi of using police and other security agencies to intimidate residents at the border.

In one of the letters written by the sub-county chairperson of Iriiri, which sits at the border with Katakwi, Ben Peter Loburo accuses police of attacking and threatening locals at Alekilek village. 

The letter addressed to the Napak LC5 chairperson, Joseph Lomonyang indicates that the police attached to Katakwi district, on April 18th, threatened and attacked residents of Alekilek over their land. Loburo alleges that the police destroyed huts being constructed in the village and warned people not to continue with the construction works.

“They were rudely telling them that Alekilek belongs to Katakwi district. Now, in this trend of events, how can government guns be turned to kill its very own people?”, part of the letter reads. They noted that police patrol car with registration number UP 4854 was used by the police to terrorize residents. 

Ben Peter Loburo, the Iriiri chairman claims that the police habit of threatening residents in Alekilek has increased recently.

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Emmy Ogirot, the Palam sub-county chairperson that borders Napak claims that cattle thefts have recently increased after the border opening. He notes that over 80 cattle have been stolen by the Karimojong, something he observes is alarming. 

Ogirot explains that although cattle thefts have been common in the area, the recent incidents have left them in dilemma.

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However, both the police and army leadership in Teso have denied knowledge of being used in the border issue or increased theft of cattle.

Maxwell Ogwal Onep, the Regional Police Commander, East Kyoga says he not aware of the police involvement in the border issue while Capt. Abert Arinaitwe, the 3rd Division spokesman told URN that there is no relationship between the border conflict and cattle thefts.