The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has strategically outlined exit routes for noncompliant migrant cattle keepers, commonly referred to as Balaalo, who have failed to adhere to President Museveni’s directive. President Museveni had instructed cattle keepers from Western Uganda, specifically those without proper fencing and water sources on private and government lands, to vacate North and Northeastern Uganda within three weeks.
State Minister for Northern Uganda Rehabilitation, Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, conveyed the plans in a letter dated November 7, 2023, addressed to Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) in Lango, West Nile, and Acholi Subregions. The letter specified five major routes for the exit of noncompliant cattle keepers.
Exit Routes for Noncompliant Cattle Keepers:
|Lango||Otuke, Kwania, Apac||Otuke-Lira-Apac-Masindi Port route|
|West Nile||Arua, Madi Okollo, Terego, Moyo, Pakwach||Pakwach Bridge checkpoint, Karuma Bridge checkpoint|
|Acholi||Nwoya, Amuru||Karuma Bridge checkpoint|
|Acholi||Lamwo, Pader, Kitgum, Gulu||Kitgum-Acholi Bur-Gulu-Kamdini-Karuma route through Layibi Checkpoint|
|Adjumani||Obongi, Moyo, Yumbe, Adjumani||Adjumani ferry to Adjuamani-Atiak-Gulu-Kamdini-Karuma route through Alokolum checkpoint, final recording at Karuma Bridge checkpoint|
The Resident District Commissioners are tasked with supervising the eviction process, supported by district veterinary officers. An implementation committee is to be formed to identify cattle keepers, assess land usage, and designate holding grounds for those exiting. Verification of ownership, movement permits, and adherence to designated routes are essential for the animals leaving.
The implementation committee is set to initiate evictions from government ranches in Lakang Sub-county (Amuru District), Got Apwoyo (Nwoya District), Aswa Ranch (Pader District), and Maruzi (Apac District). Amuru’s Resident District Commissioner, Stephen Odong Latek, emphasized that non-compliant cattle keepers were given a voluntary evacuation opportunity before forced eviction.
The eviction ultimatum, initially set for October 20, has been extended to November 15, allowing time for verification. However, some political leaders in the region express dissatisfaction, accusing the president of intentionally prolonging the process. Notably, the largest concentration of migrant cattle keepers, as per a September report by the executive order implementation committee, is in Amuru district (15.5%), followed by Gulu district (13.6%), and Pader District (9.1%).