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 West Nile: Security Sends ‘Balaalo’ Out of Okollo District

A joint security team comprising of Police and UPDF on Saturday resolved to send out cattle keepers commonly known as “Balaalo” from the West Nile district of Okollo.

Authorities state that the invasion of cattle keepers in the newly established district was set to fuel a tribal conflict in the area since the Balaalo are not local natives.

The decision was reached in a sensitization meeting held on Thursday at Alinyiri Village, Rigbo Sub-county in Okollo District.

This followed a recent conflict between the locals and the cattle keepers in which several people were assaulted and injured.

According to West Nile Regional Police, it is alleged that from the clash that took place on 1st November, a one Joachim Eguma, the LC1 chairman Alinyiri Village, and two other persons were seriously assaulted by the cattle keepers, which incident was reported to Rigbo police post and is currently being investigated.

From the meeting, it was also realized that apart from the clashes between cattle keepers and locals of West Nile districts, there are also continuous elements of tribalism between Lugbara and the Madi.

The divide between the two tribes has seen land wrangles, animals rustling, crop destruction crops, theft of property and mob injustice.

Security attributed the conflicts to ignorance of the law and lack of respect to authorities.

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The joint security team hence resolved to take a number of actions on the conflicts in which it was decided that the Balaalo should leave the area within 7days as per the Presidential directive which was passed sometime back, and in this exercise corruption be avoided.

Agencies also said that incidences which are criminal in nature be reported and managed by police and No movement of animals at night.

According to West Nile regional Police spokesperson Josephine Angucia, local leaders were also told to co-operate in identifying the cattle keepers and the process of sending them off be solely managed by the security.

A new Army detach was also established in Rigbo Sub county so as to reinforce police in securing the area.

Police contacts were also given out to members of the community and advised to report threats, crime, accidents, suspected wrong people to police for proper and quick management.

Local leaders were advised to conduct regular security meetings in order to minimise conflicts in the community as well as follow police sensitisation programs on all the radio stations of the region in order to gain more knowledge on laws and criminal procedures.

 

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