Balaalo evictions start in Northern Uganda

 The presidential directive to expel Balaalo herdsmen from greater northern Uganda is causing tensions in various districts. In Amuru District, security forces, led by the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Stephen Odong Latek, are enforcing the eviction, insisting on immediate departure even for those seeking a grace period to complete land fencing.

Despite initial peaceful efforts, incidents of violence have occurred in Amuru and Gulu districts, resulting in arrests. The UPDF 4th Division spokesman, Maj Telesphor Turyamumanya, disclosed that suspects face charges such as criminal trespass, theft, and malicious damage.

Over 1,400 cattle have been gathered at the Okidi Holding Ground in Amuru District following the launch of the eviction. A ministerial directive outlines specific routes for the exit of cattle from different districts, emphasizing checkpoints and adherence to regulations.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Jane Frances Abodo, has instructed prosecutors to support the eviction, with a grace period expiring on November 25. The Minister for the Presidency, Ms Milly Babalanda, has formed a supervisory team to monitor the RDCs during the exercise.

President Museveni's visit to Okidi Village initiated the directive, targeting Balaalo on unfenced land without water sources. Eviction is progressing in government ranches and lands, with districts like Apac and Kwania issuing warnings to comply voluntarily or face forceful eviction.

While some argue that Balaalos acquired land titles, concerns about grazing on farmland and alleged threats using illicit weapons persist. The directive's long-term impact on Balaalos who own land in the affected areas remains uncertain, with opinions varying on the effectiveness of the measure.

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