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Amuru district stuck with over 600 cattle abandoned by Balalo pastoralists

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Amuru district is stuck with over 600 heads of cattle reportedly abandoned by the Balalo herdsmen during the eviction exercise launched two weeks ago following President Museveni’s directive.

The abandoned herds were collected and put in the three holding centers located in different parts of the district. They are: 337 cattle at Okidi parish in Atiak town council, over 200 at Kololo parish in Lakang sub county, and 82 at Opara sub county.

Kenneth Okot, the chairman of Atiak town council in Amuru district told URN in an interview that the cattle have been abandoned by the Balalo herdsmen who were claiming ownership of the grazing lands they were being evicted from, claiming to have no other alternative place to take the animals, while others are simply sabotaging the eviction exercise.

Okot revealed that the animals that have been in the holding centers for several days have become a burden to the district authorities since they have to spend a lot of money to pay people to feed and guard them.

He says they are in consultation with the police in a bid to process a court order to have the cattle auctioned and the money kept in the district’s account.

Anthony Oringa, chairman of Lakang sub county in Amuru district says they have so far evicted a number of herdsmen with 1,200 heads of cattle from Kololo and part of Atoro parishes and currently, they are in the process of driving away over 1,000 remaining cattle with their owners from Bana and Lajalula parishes.

Oringa however noted that poor road conditions and lack of funds in the sub county are hampering the eviction exercise since the activity was not budgeted for.

David Ongom Mudong, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson revealed that the authorities of Amuru district have given a grace period (whose length he did not disclose) for the owners of the cattle to claim them and that if they fail, the cattle shall be auctioned.

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