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Turkana pastoralists lose 600 cattle to drought in one week

Shortages of water and pasture due to eviction from Karamoja has caused abnormally high livestock deaths of Turkana livestock.

Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Turkana pastoralists have lost 600 heads of cattle within one week after being flashed out of Karamoja region by the joint security forces following the killing of three Ugandan geologists and two soldiers in Moroto district last month. The three geologists and UPDF soldiers were gunned by Turkana pastoralists grazing their livestock in Moroto.

The geologists were picking soil samples from Losikilei parish in Lotisan sub-county, Moroto district. Following the incident, Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF, Uganda Police Force-UPF and the Anti-Stock Theft Unit-ASTU launched an operation and flashed out about 90,000 Turkana pastoralists from Moroto, Kotido and Kaabong districts.

Patrick Imaana, a member of the Turkana County Assembly representing Lokiriamam says that the Turkana pastoralists have lost about 600 livestock to drought since they were chased from Uganda. He told URN in an interview on Wednesday that the pastoralists have been dependent on pasture and water in Uganda for the survival of their livestock.

“As we speak right now, cows are eating soil, no water, no pasture and they are dying. We request Uganda to allow our people to return back so that some livestock can be saved, “he said. John Munyes, the former Minerals Minister said part of the cows that were flashed out of Uganda belong to him.

However, Brig. Joseph Balikudembe, the 3rd Division Commander said the Turkana can only be allowed to return to Uganda if the Kenyan government hands over those who killed the geologists and two soldiers to Uganda for prosecution. “What we need right now is produce for us the suspects who killed our people in Uganda, the guns they used for killing them and our bullets,” he told the Kenyan officials.

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