MOROTO – The current resurrecting cattle raids between Turkana of Kenya and the Karamojong of Uganda has left several wondering the purpose of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed by President Museveni and his Kenya counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta in Moroto recently.
On September 12 last year, the two heads of state jetted in Moroto and signed MoU on free movements of pastoralists and resource sharing along Turkana, Karamoja border.
Hundreds of people including development partners who witnessed the signing ceremony which cost the European Union $1million believed that it would be the end of conflicts between Turkana and the Karamojong.
However, it has turned to be opposite looking at the current insecurity situation among the two communities expected to have enjoyed peace after the signing of MoU.
UPDF forces from October 15, 2019, have been clashing with the armed cattle raiders on a daily basis causing wanders and panic in the region.
On December 24, when people were preparing usher in marry Christmas, UPDF soldiers were clashing with Pokot Cattle rustlers who had gone to raid animals in Nakapiripirit town council in Nakapiripirit district.
Three of the warriors were killed and two guns recovered although the warriors failed to steal the cows but the fight alone caused panic and fears among the public.
On Christmas Day, UPDF was battling out with warriors suspected from Kotido district who had gone to raid animals in Rupa Sub County in Moroto district.
Two of the warriors were put out of action and animals were recovered. The incident also caused panic and the public in Rupa never enjoyed the celebrations.
On December 27, another suspected Jie warrior from Kotido was killed around Loputuk village in Nadunget Sub County where he had gone to raid animals.
Looking at the series of these incidents, several opinion leaders said the signing of peace MOU has proved fruitless.
Mr. John Lomokol one of the peace elders in Rupa Sub County told PML Daily on Thursday 16, 2020, that most of the peace committee leaders are ignorant about the signed MoU making it hard for the Karimojong and the Turkana to own it.
“It was necessary the two governments would have consulted the local’s community on the MoU so that everyone would understand the importance of the MoU but now this community is fighting left and right they don’t know much about the signed MoU,” he said.
Patrick Menya another peace elder wandered why cattle rustling have intensified in Karamoja after the signing of the MoU between the two presidents.
“Could it be that the signing of these MoU has ushered in more trouble to these two neighboring pastoralists’ communities,” he asked.
Mr. Menya appeals to the two governments to assigned the joint committee to go back to the grass root and make some consultations with the local community about the MoU so that it can be disseminated and owned by every pastoralist.