Kenyan and Ugandan authorities on Tuesday kicked off efforts to end cross-border clashes over cattle rustling.
Tension has been high along the Kenya-Uganda border following the recent clashes between Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and Kenya’s Turkana pastoralists, inhabiting part of Uganda’s Kaabong district.
A cross-border delegation from Kenya led by Senator John Munyes crossed to Kaabong district to diffuse the tension between the Ugandan army and the Turkana pastoralists over the recent theft of dozens of cattle by suspected Turkana raiders.
Turkana West divisional police commander David Nyabuto confirmed that a delegation has already crossed to Uganda to meet the authorities in a bid to iron out the brewing tension along the border.
He said the Ugandan soldiers carried out an operation and recovered the stolen cattle from Turkana herders in Kenya.
“It’s true there is tension in the border because some suspected Turkana bandits stole several cattle from Ugandan Karamojong speaking community at Kabong district. A team is there led by area Senator Munyes to restore peace in the region,”Nyabuto said.
He said thousands of Turkana animals migrated to Uganda in search of water and pasture following a long dry spell in the region.
“It’s with a lot of goodwill that Uganda government decided to welcome the Turkana herders to their region to graze their animals there and access water for their animals,” said the police commander.
A security source said some three Ugandan military officers were reportedly killed when they went to recover the stolen animals from Turkana kraals.
“Actually there was a resistance from pastoralists when the military arrived to the Turkana kraal inhabiting in Uganda to seize the stolen animals,” Nyabuto said.
He said locals have started fleeing Uganda border fearing for their lives. More than 10,000 cattle will face starvation after crossing back to the country since the region has inadequate water and pasture to sustain them,Nyabuto added. Enditem