The Acholi Parliamentary Group in the 11th Parliament Monday are set to embark on an uphill task to inform their electorates about progress made so far made in implementation of the Executive Order on the Balalo.
This comes after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni again extended the implementation of the Executive Order Three of 2023 by another twenty (20) days, drawing outrage from the Acholi leaders in the August House.
In the executive order three issued on May 19th, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni banned Balalo herdsmen from northern Uganda, rebuking them for indiscipline and land grabbing. However, hardly two months after issuing the order, on 2nd July President Museveni deferred the enforcement of the expulsion of Balalo herdsmen from northern Uganda neutralising his earlier order.
According to the State Minister for Northern Uganda Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the extension was meant to give the head of state time to study new reports about the Balalo herdsmen operations in the entire Acholi Sub-region.
To put the matter into perspective, Anthony Akol, the chairman of Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG) says they will now reach out to the people at the grass root to inform them of the latest development.
“What we are going to start doing immediately is that we are going to go on the ground to our people in the different places in Acholi Sub-region to make sure that we give them the feedback of what has been going on especially in the verification, report of which from what happened yesterday (Sunday) there have been a lot of changes from the original report that I participated in drafting,” adding that APG decided to go on the ground and talk to their voters who bear the brunt of the herdsmen.
Who are the Balalo?
Balalo are a group of nomadic herdsmen majorly from the Ankole Sub-region who move from place to place looking for pasture for their cattle. With climate change and its adverse effects hitting the Ankole-Masaka cattle corridor, the herdsmen have been forced to move to northern Uganda, with fertile land rich with green pastures.
However, this has come at a cost whereby the locals have blamed the herdsmen over and again for a litany of ‘sins’ including land grabbing, impregnating teenage girls and abandoning them, their cattle wandering into people’s farms and destroying food crops among others.
It remains to be seen if the executive order will be enforced at the end of the twenty days, because according to information reaching our news desk, this issue is being politicized and yet the grass root people are the ones who bear the brunt of the overstay of the herdsmen.
One may ask, aren’t there other alternatives to nomadic pastoralism in this day and age, or there is more than meets the eye here?
The land laws of the country allows anyone to purchase land in any part of the country but this should be done with respect of indigenous people found on the land.