KASESE – More security officers have been deployed in Karusandara sub-county, Kasese District, following clashes between Basongora and Bakonzo ethnic groups on Sunday, August 9, 2020.
The clashes that took place in Kabukero village, Karusandara sub-county left nine people severely injured.
According to police, trouble started when a group of Bakonzo armed with spears and pangas attacked the Basongora pastoralists who were grazing cattle. In the ensuing fight, several cattle were looted.
Kasese RDC Joe Walusimbi said they have dispatched a team of security forces to quell the situation. Walusimbi said three people believed to have participated in the raid have been arrested.
The long-standing land wrangle between the two tribes has been blamed for continuous clashes in the Rwenzori region.
The two groups are fighting over the 1,100 acres land that was given to them by the government in 2007 for settlement. The two clusters are accusing one another of grabbing each other’s land.
The clashes also come at a time when there are already tensions between the two ethnic groups over cultural issues after the Basongora installed their king, two years ago.
The Basongora are among the minority ethnic groups in Kasese mainly pastoralists in the low lands of Busongora North and Busongora South.
When government gave the land to Basongora pastoralists, who had returned from Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo where they had gone in search of water and pasture, bloody clashes erupted.
The Bakonzo cultivators protested government’s move to settle the cattle keepers on the 2,050 acres of land and the deployment of police in the area to block whoever wanted to continue cultivating on the disputed land.
The cultivators successfully sued the Attorney General and asked court among others to; order government, its agents and the pastoralists out of their land