President Museveni Bans “Baraaro” Pastoralists in Northern Uganda

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President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has put a complete ban on the illegal presence of nomads “Baraaro” in Northern Uganda on grounds of indiscipline and illegally occupying land.

President Museveni while issuing an executive order on May 19, 2023, said that on account of indiscipline and illegal possession of land, the right ‘of occupancy’ cannot be enjoyed.

“This Executive Order, issued under the powers given to the President by Article 99 (2) of the 1995 Constitution, will cover the Anti-cattle Rustling efforts in North and North-Eastern Uganda, the damage to the Environment by the charcoal business, the damage caused by the indiscipline nomads known as “Baraaro,” recasting the Uganda Police Force into a Uganda-wide Police instead of being a Kampala Police, and the problem of the Turkana nomads,” the executive order read in part.

President Museveni directed that no “Muraaro” should settle and bring cattle to Northern Uganda, except with permission of the Minister of Lands and the Minister of Agriculture.

“On the account of the two mistakes above, that right cannot be enjoyed,” he added.

He guided that the directive does not mean that “Baraaro,” like other Ugandans, cannot buy land and settle in Northern Uganda.

A Muraaro grazing cattle in Northern Uganda
A Muraaro grazing cattle in Northern Uganda

President Museveni also directed Attorney General (AG) to draft a law criminalizing nomadism, adding that a wrong doer could serve seven years in prison for illegally transporting cattle to Northern Uganda.

“The AG should provide for the confiscation of the cattle of the “Baraaro” involved in entering the indicated areas illegally,” he directed.

The President also directed all government Agencies to ensure that “Baraaro” are expelled from the indicated areas by the end of June, 2023.

In November 2022, Baraaro pastoralists returned to Lamwo district six months after being evicted. In November 2021, President Museveni had ordered for the eviction of all pastoralists from Northern Uganda in a letter he addressed to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, on grounds that they were illegally operating in the sub-region and causing food insecurity in the north as their cattle trampled on crops during grazing. Over 10 pastoralists with over 3,000 cattle were evicted from Lamwo District.

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