Alale, Kenya- Twelve Karimojong cattle rustlers were shot dead on Tuesday night in a fight with the Kenyan Pokot pastoralists in Lorengekipi Village of Kenya’s border district of Alale.
The 3rd Division UPDF Spokesperson, Lt Jimmy Omara, said about 190 armed Matheniko rustlers from Nadunget and Rupa sub-counties in Moroto District, crossed into Kenya on Tuesday to raid animals from the Pokot pastoralists.
“They left Moroto to raid the Kenyan Pokot pastoralists. But the Pokot had learnt of the planned raid by the Karimojong, so they alerted their counterparts in the Pokot territory and they ganged up to wait for them,” he said. However, he added, the survivors raided 600 head of cattle from the Pokot.
Lt Omara said bodies of the killed warriors were scattered in the bush near the border. The UPDF 3rd Division commander, Brig James Lakara Nakibus, described the incident as detrimental to the ongoing efforts by elders from both countries to negotiate peace between the cattle keeping communities on either side of the border. He said the Ugandan army had joined their Kenyan counterparts to trace the Pokot cattle the Karimojong rustlers crossed with into Uganda.
Moroto RDC Nahaman Ojwe confirmed the fighting between the two cattle keeping communities and said a team had been sent to establish the number of the dead.
Culturally, Karimojong men marry with cattle and historically bride wealth/prices have been very high. Young men have a powerful incentive to establish their reputations and build their own herds through mounting raids on other pastoral groups (neighbouring districts). In the decade of the 1970s-to date, these warrior herdsmen who had always fought with spears acquired modern firearms, which has made the act more violent and deadly.