The Uganda People's Defence forces
have warned Turkana pastoral communities against supplying guns to Karamojong
which are now used for committing crimes.
The warning was issued on Friday during the
handover of two guns which suspected Turkana cattle rustlers took a way from
two UPDF soldiers killed alongside three officials from the Ministry of energy
in Lotisan sub county Moroto district.
Brig. Joseph Balikudembe, the UPDF 3rd division
commander says that certain communities such as Matheniko who live in the
borderline areas with neighboring countries like Kenya have enjoyed the ethnic
links with Turkana pastoralists, enabling them to re-arm more easily and also
escaping military operations by fleeing into Kenya with their guns.
Balikudembe says the Turkana has
stubbornly continued to hire out their guns to their Karamojong friends warning
them to stop the coalition as they could be used to commit unlawful attacks
which may affect their grazing in Karamoja.
‘’We have established that
many weapons used for raiding in Karamoja are from Turkana, and this frustrates
our effort of disarming because there's a continuous influx of guns in the
region,’’ said Balikudembe.
He also noted that the re-emergence
of alliances between groups are some of the factors still threatening peace and
security in the region.
//cue in : in fact it’s a naked
//cue out:‘’ actually you are the
ones arming them."//
Jeremiah Ekamais Lomorukai, member
of Kenyan parliament representing Loima constituency said they will have to
develop some strategic plans to ensure effective security provision and small
arms control while remaining responsive to community needs and priorities.
Lomorukai said there’s reluctances
in their Kenyan security system but they will have to do much to re-organize in
order to address the issue of insecurity.
//Cue in : ‘’we want everybody to
//cue out : ‘’that would be very
Bernard Lokong a youth councilor
Rupa sub county said there is a need to renew commitment which is needed from
the Uganda, Kenya and Sudan governments to implement existing agreements to
address cross border small arms tracing and insecurity.
Lokong says that the Turkana
pastoral communities should be given a condition to first surrender their guns
to the government before allowing them to graze in karamoja.
He said as Karamojong they
understand the crisis they go through as pastoralists and this makes them to
receive any person stranded with animals but they shall not entertain those who
//Cue in: ‘’turkana are the ones
//cue out: ‘’they will come now
looking for water ad pasture."//
However, Mana Lopor a Turkana
pastoralist grazing in Naput village in Rupa sub county in Moroto says that
they don’t use their guns for looting but instead for protecting their animals.
Mzee Ekeno Lopuko Zakary, a Turkana
kraal leader in the same area says if the situation worsens, they will be
forced to take back their guns to bury in Turkana then handing it over to Ugandan
The Turkana are Kenya’s second
largest pastoral group and regularly cross into Uganda mostly in the areas of
Kobebe dam in Rupa sub county Moroto district in search for water and pastures
for their animals following a persistent drought in their areas of Kenya.