By Richard Onapatum
Katakwi a neighboring district to the Karamoja subregion prone to attacks from Karamojong cattle warriors has for the record gone 4 months without any attack.
The warriors who mainly target livestock during the raids have been terrorizing their neighbouring districts for a long period though the government is at its best to wipe out the vice (Cattle rustling).
The Woman Member of Parliament for Katakwi district who also doubles as the Vice President of Uganda Maj Rtd Alupo Jessica Rose Epel revealed that her district has for the first time recorded the longest peace since time immemorial.
“For the last 4 months katakwi has been peaceful, we have not experienced any cattle thefts. I want to thank the UPDF and other sister security organs for pacifying the region”, said Alupo
This she said in her remarks on Sunday 12th, Nov 2023 during the opening of St Peters Claver catholic parish in Ongongoja making it the seventh parish in the district.
Cattle Rustling has been persistent and the tensions that arise are often prompted by competition over pasture and water, in addition to traditional practices of raiding cattle from rival communities.
“Am happy the Karachunas have also started using their bare hands to bake bricks, this youth used to spend the whole day brushing their teeth under trees and in the night raid neighborhoods, but with government initiatives to create wealth and the UPDF, peace shall forever prevail in teso” said Alupo
Alupo lauded security organs, commanders and their troops for fighting cattle rustling and thefts in the Karamoja and Teso sub-regions.
The vice president took the chance to assure locals that no Karimojong rustler would disturb the Teso sub-region.
“We want this miracle of peace to be permanent in Katakwi”, said Alupo
She appealed for unity between the Iteso and Karimojong people saying there’s development when we all co-relate.
Pastoralist groups in the Karamoja region have been engaged for centuries in cycles of joint livestock raiding, involving inter-communal armed violence.
This tendency has been further aggravated by frequent droughts and floods, which fuel competition for livestock, pastures and access to water.
The pattern of conflict is similar across Karamoja, with the Bokora, Dodoth, Jie, Matheniko, and Pian sub-clans switching quickly between weak alliances and outright war.
The situation is made worse by the Pokot and Turkana from Kenya, who enter the region whenever drought afflicts the Kenyan side of the border.
The Teso districts bordering Karamoja, have continuously suffered the challenges of allowing Karimojong incursion.