Leaders from Karamoja have issued a plea to counterparts in neighbouring Turkana County, urging swift compliance with the demands of a presidential executive order for access to grazing areas in Karamoja.
This call comes in the aftermath of an unfortunate incident involving the killing of Ugandan geologists by Turkana suspects, which led to a directive banning Turkana pastoralists from accessing grazing in Karamoja.
"Our Turkana counterparts need to expedite the fulfillment of the demands outlined in the presidential executive order; they have been slow," remarked Nabilatuk Chairperson Paul Lokol Paul, emphasising the importance of prompt action.
LC5 Chairperson of Kaabong, Meri Jino, highlighted that it is important to arrest and hand over the perpetrators involved in the geologists' deaths for prosecution.
"This is the very reason we are having this dialogue," Jino asserted during the cross-border and conflict resolution meeting held in Moroto district.
The ban on Turkana from accessing Karamoja was prompted by accusations of harboring the criminals responsible for the geologists' deaths.
State Minister for Minerals, Peter Lokeris Aimat, reiterated that the pastoralists of Turkana had been historically welcomed into Karamoja, stressing that the unfortunate incident marred this relationship.
Before permitting access to grazing lands, the executive order mandates three crucial conditions:
1. Compensation for slain geologists: The order requires compensation for the deceased geologists.
2. Arrest and extradition of culprits: It demands the apprehension and extradition of the geologists' killers to face prosecution in Uganda.
3. Prevention of Illegal Firearms: The order strictly prohibits armed Turkana individuals, especially those carrying illegal firearms, from entering Uganda.
During the meeting attended by Members of Parliament from Turkana and Pokot, the County Government Commissioner, and representatives of the County Governor, concerns were raised about the delay in complying with the presidential executive order.
"In the meeting, we openly expressed our concerns to the Turkana leaders regarding their delay in complying with the presidential executive order three," remarked Nangole Lobot, Chairperson of Amudat.
The UPDF affirmed their commitment to enforcing the presidential executive order.
“We will not permit the illegal entry of Turkana pastoralists into Karamoja until the order's demands are met.” UPDF Third Division Commander, Major General Don Nabasa emphasized
According to John Kodet, Napak Chairperson the implementation of the executive order has yielded relative peace in Karamoja, because it stopped firearms proliferation across the border since the order's issuance.