One dead as UPDF, Turkana pastoralists clash

By Daily Monitor

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The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers have shot dead one suspected Turkana warrior from Kenya in the semi-arid region of north eastern Uganda.

The warrior was on Tuesday gunned down during a 20-minutes fire exchange between UPDF and Turkana who had raided cows in Losilang village in Kotido District.

Captain Albert Arinaitwe, the UPDF 3rd division Spokesperson said six warriors had raided 30 heads of cattle and 33 goats and sheep from Kotido District driving them to Kenya.

“They were all armed and so they refused to stop when our soldiers ordered them. Instead, they started shooting at our soldiers provoking soldiers to respond with gunfire. One was put out of action but the others escaped unhurt,” he said.

He said the army recovered one SMS G gun with ammunitions from the killed warrior while others managed to flee leaving all the cows and goats that they had raided.

“We recovered all the 30 cows and 33 goats that they had raided but we are not giving up on them,” he added.

The incident comes just days after the minister for Karamoja affairs, Mr John Byabagambi warned Turkana pastoralists against entering into Uganda with their guns.

Mr Byabagambi sounded the warning on Sunday in reference to four consecutive raids allegedly conducted by the armed Turkana pastoralists in Kaabong and Kotido.

The Turkana are Kenya’s second largest pastoral group and keep crossing into Uganda in search of water and pasture.

Karamoja sub region is currently host to about 70,000 Turkana pastoralists who entered the country with more than 100,000 livestock following the persistent drought in northwest Kenya.

They are currently grazing in the areas of Kobebe in Moroto, Loyoro, Kamion and Kalapata in Kaabong District.