Kenya joins Uganda in disarmament of border pastoral communities

News and Press Release
Originally published
KAMPALA, Jul 4, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The governments of Uganda and Kenya have agreed to coordinate simultaneous disarmament of armed pastoral communities in the two east African countries to end the cross border conflicts.

Local media reported on Monday that the permanent secretaries and security personnel from Kenya and Uganda held a meeting at weekend in Entebbe, some 40 km south of Kampala where they proposed that there should be a joint disarmament exercise.

Cyrus Gituai, the permanent secretary for Provincial Administration and Internal Security of Kenya, was quoted as saying that many Ugandans and Kenyans are displaced and are living like refugees in their own countries.

He noted that several schools have been vandalized or burnt down outright and learning disrupted as populations deserted their villages with their children.

He said that no viable economic activity can be realized in a such an environment of insecurity.

Cattle raiding and the fights for scare water and grazing land among different cattle keeping groups in eastern Uganda and northwestern districts of Kenya have left many local people displaced or killed in armed clashes.

When Uganda launched a disarmament exercise in the northeastern region, some warriors crossed with their guns to Kenya.

At a joint ministerial meeting on disarmament in Kenya and Uganda held on June 4, Kenyan Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security John Michuki said that cattle rustling is a problem which goes beyond the Kenyan and Ugandan borders.

He proposed that there is need to seek assistance from the United Nations to recover arms from rustlers.