In a recent development, the joint security team of Uganda handed over livestock to Turkana pastoralists in Moroto District. The livestock, comprising 91 cows and 12 donkeys, was returned to the Turkana community after they surrendered two guns to the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF).
This exchange followed a confrontation between the 403 Infantry Brigade and armed Turkana herdsmen in the Naput area along the Uganda-Kenya border in late September 2023. During the encounter, the Turkana herders fled, leaving behind 91 cattle and 12 donkeys. Security commanders imposed a condition that the Turkana should surrender their weapons before reclaiming their livestock.
Col. Richard Obura Kidega, representing the 403 Infantry Brigade Commander, stressed that the Turkana authorities must deliver the individuals responsible for killing geologists to their Ugandan counterparts for prosecution and justice. He emphasized the significance of executive order No.3 of 2023 and directives on operations against armed nomadism, issued by the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, which the joint security forces are committed to implementing.
On October 4, 2023, the Turkana, led by community elder Mr. Nyilimo Nakuon, a resident of Lokiriama, surrendered two guns, which were officially received on October 11 by senior security leaders in Moroto.
Hon. Koryang David, the Chairperson of Moroto District Local Government, expressed his appreciation to the UPDF for returning the cattle to the Turkana and to the Turkana for complying with the conditions for surrendering the guns. He called upon the Turkana to respect the laws of Uganda and urged them to collaborate in identifying the geologists’ killers who are believed to be at large.
Kenya Liaison Officer to Uganda, Maj Abdullah Kalicha, affirmed that Kenyan authorities are actively searching for the geologists’ killers. He also stressed the commitment of Turkana County authorities to educate pastoralists about the dangers of gun trafficking.
The ceremony witnessed the presence of local leaders, senior military officers, and members of the community from both Uganda and Turkana County.
The incident that triggered these events took place on March 22, 2023, when three Ugandan geologists, conducting routine mapping in Moroto District, were violently killed in an ambush, alongside two UPDF soldiers.