Government Initiates Dialogue Between Balalo Herdsmen and Acholi Landowners

Cattle Keeper Mediation in Acholi
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The Minister for Northern Uganda, Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, spearheaded peace and understanding in meetings held at Anaka Town Council and Amuru Multi-purpose hall, urging landowners and ‘Balalo’ herdsmen from Nwoya and Amuru districts to coexist peacefully for regional development.

In these discussions, Kwiyucwiny emphasized the need for both parties to adhere to the conditions outlined in Presidential Executive Order Three (03), issued in May, which guides the acquisition of land and the rearing of cattle. The minister urged adherence to cultural practices, honesty in resolving conflicts, and strict observance of the law to ensure peaceful living.

The Vice Chairperson of the Cattle Keepers Association, Stephen Bujingo, highlighted that many herdsmen have followed legal processes to acquire land, possessing all necessary documentation. He assured that they had no reason to panic and emphasized the importance of peaceful cohabitation.

Local landlord Denis Atube from Lungulu Sub-County in Nwoya District noted that, despite some minor tensions, they generally coexist well with herdsmen. However, he acknowledged occasional disputes, emphasizing the importance of resolving issues amicably.

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Nwoya District Woman Member of Parliament, Judith Peace Atim, addressed concerns about land disputes, advising those with non-binding agreements to contact district authorities to ensure proper reviews and avoid conflicts. She emphasized protecting the interests of both land buyers and sellers.

The peace initiative aligns with Executive Order Number 3 issued by President Museveni in May, aiming to prevent illegal land occupation in Acholi, particularly by Balalo herdsmen. The order, initially set for implementation by July 30, has seen extensions to October 20 and November 3 to allow comprehensive assessments of illegal land ownership.

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