The State Minister for Northern Uganda, Ms. Grace Freedom Kwiyocwiny, has stated that the government requires at least 1 trillion Shillings to help the victims of cattle raids, believed to be carried out by suspected Karimojong individuals in the region.
Ms. Kwiyucwiny explained that her ministry intends to provide compensation to the families of those killed and individuals who lost their animals during these raids.
The allocated budget will be utilized to compensate livestock owners, those injured during the raids, relatives of the deceased, and to purchase iron sheets for those whose houses were damaged. Ms. Kwiyucwiny has already submitted the budget to President Museveni for approval.
Many people lost their lives, were injured, and homes were destroyed during the raids, particularly in Agago and Kitgum districts. President Museveni is committed to ensuring this compensation.
Ms. Kwiyucwiny also noted, “We believe they can use the iron sheets to construct better structures, and their communities should assist them in building these structures, especially since some of them are elderly.”
Over the past two years, Karimojong warriors have increased their raids in the East Acholi districts of Agago and Kitgum, leading to the internal displacement of over 700 residents in Agago due to frequent cattle raids.
Earlier this year, President Museveni assured Acholi leaders and security officials that the government would compensate the victims of these raids, with Cabinet addressing the matter. Families of those killed by the rustlers will receive both food relief and financial assistance, while the injured will each receive 1 million Shillings.
In Agago, 41 people have lost their lives this year, with many others injured or displaced by cattle rustlers. This situation has also resulted in the abandonment of schools and farming, causing concerns about potential famine.
President Museveni has outlined that displaced individuals in Lamwo, Kitgum, and Agago will receive relief items. Additionally, the government will offer free primary education to school-going children who have been unable to resume their studies due to the unrest, until the situation stabilizes.
Ms. Kwiyucwiny reported that iron sheets have already been distributed to 40 affected households in Agago and eight families in Kitgum whose homes were burnt during the raids.
Leaders in East Acholi have provided statistics indicating that in 2022, at least 24 individuals were killed by raiders, and 938 animals were stolen and never recovered in Agago. In Kitgum, 1,032 goats and 501 cattle were stolen in 2022 alone.