Katakwi has written to Napak and Nabilatuk districts to stop Karimojong pastoralists from crossing into their territory with their livestock. Katakwi, which borders the two districts, joins Kapelebyong, which banned Karimojong pastoralists from crossing to the district with livestock in search of pasture and water for their animals in October this year.
The LC-V Chairperson, Francis Akorikin, said that the decision was meant to stop the rampant theft of livestock from the district. The Katakwi LC V Chairperson, Godfrey Omolo, told URN on Wednesday that they have also decided to stop Karimojong pastoralists from entering the district with livestock for similar reasons.
“I have also sent a letter to my brothers in Napak and Nabilatuk districts, stopping their herders from coming to Katakwi because we have lost many animals to the Karimojong,” he said. Over the years, Kapelebyong, Amuria, and Katakwi districts have been the only places where Karimojong pastoralists would cross to graze their livestock during drought.
Paul Lokol, the Nabilatuk district LC V chairperson, says banning the Karimojong from crossing to Katakwi and Kapelebyong to graze their animals would not solve the problem of cattle theft. “What matters is identifying criminals and isolating them from the rest.” “This is the only option, but we’re not blocking even the innocent pastoralists,” he said.
John Paul Kodet, the Napak LC V chairperson, called for a stakeholder engagement involving leaders from Katakwi, Kapelebyong, Amuria, and Napak districts. Titus Icumar, an elder and resident of Kapwat village in Irriiri sub-county in Napak district, cautioned the current leaders of Karamoja and Teso to be careful while making their decisions.
He said some of the decisions they make might spark conflicts and affect the peace between the two Ateker communities. “Why is it that the previous leaders never made such decisions when they were in those offices?” So they should not rush but rather study the situation before rushing to draw conclusions. “It’s dangerous,” he said.