Ethnic clashes in Kenya threaten Karamojong peace

Ethnic clashes in Kenya threaten Turkana peace ambassador Immanuel Imana shakes hands with President MuseveniKaramojong peace

Ethnic clashes in Kenya threaten Turkana peace ambassador Immanuel Imana shakes hands with President MuseveniKaramojong peaceBy Steven Ariong
MOROTO, UGANDA
Ugandan military leadership is worried that persistent ethnic clashes between the Turkana and Pokot communities in Kenya are a threat to peace in Karamoja region.

Many families fleeing from the raids and killings in Kenya have sought refuge in Karamoja. Captain Jimmy Omara, the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) 3rd Division spokesperson says that following the cross border clashes, illegal firearms have entered into the Karamoja region.

He says that although the number of guns in Karamojong hands had declined in recent years, the UPDF has between January and March 2015 recovered 32 guns along the border corridor: “When you look at our UPDF statistics on guns recovery, between January and December 2014 we recovered 60 guns. Recovering 32 in three months could simply mean that we shall surpass last year’s figure by December 2015,” he says.

For decades, the Turkana and Pokot communities have been involved in bloodletting over boundaries, pasture, water and other national resources. The current bloody war is over the communal ownership of Kapedo; a resource rich enclave claimed by the two communities.

Uganda, which suffered its own share of communal and trans-border conflicts has managed to restore peace and order within its borders. Captain Omara told the Turkana Guardian that the UPDF has beefed up security along its border with Kenya to ensure no sparks of conflicts spill over into Karamoja.

In March 2015, during the Tarehe Sita Celebrations in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni directed the UPDF to shot to kill any Kenyan Turkana and or Pokot crossing to Uganda with weapons.

Said Museveni: “Kenya has refused to disarm its people. When we were disarming the Karimojong we told them to also do disarmament but they have not. So we shall not waste time with them. Whenever you see armed Pokot or Turkana entering Uganda we will give them horizontal arrangement,” Museveni said.



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