Turkana Pastoralists Exchange Guns for Livestock in Security Operation

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On October 4, 2023, Turkana pastoralists, under the leadership of community elder Mr. Nyilimo Nakuon, a resident of Lokiriama in Moroto District, surrendered two guns, which the senior security officials in Moroto received on October 11, 2023. The guns were handed over to the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF).

The Turkana, in return, received livestock (91 cows and 12 donkeys) from the joint security team of Uganda.

The incident follows a recent encounter between the 403 Infantry Brigade and armed Turkana herdsmen in the areas of Naput along the Uganda-Kenya borderline in late September 2023.

According to Col. Richard Obura Kidega, the 403 Infantry Brigade Commander who represented the 3 Division Commander, during the encounter, the Turkana ran back to their territory, leaving behind 91 heads of cattle and 12 donkeys.

“They were later given a condition by security commanders to hand over guns used before getting back the cows,” Kidega said.

Kidega added that, following the killing of three geologists on March 22, 2023, who were on routine mapping in Moroto District alongside two UPDF soldiers in an ambush, the Turkana authorities were required to present the killers to their Ugandan counterparts for prosecution and justice.

He emphasised that executive order No. 3 of 2023 and directives on operations against armed nomadism, which were issued by the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, still stand, and the joint security forces are steadfast in implementing the orders.

Hon. Koryang David, the Chairperson of Moroto District Local Government, urged the Turkana to respect the laws of Uganda and challenged them to team up and trace the killers of geologists who are believed to be at large.

Local leaders, senior military officers, and the community from both Uganda and Turkana County were present at the ceremony.

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