Pastoralists commonly known as Balaalo in Uganda’s West Nile districts of Nebbi and Arua are complaining of continued attacks by the indigenous Lugbara whom they claim are evicting them from land they legally paid rent for.
According to Alphonse Mushumba, the Chairperson of the Balaalo in West Nile, one pastoralist, Cyrus Kaloli, was killed last week in an attack in Wadilayi sub county Nebbi district while two others; Moses Mugabo and Frank Sebiraza are nursing injuries they sustained in separate attacks in Arua district.
“We have registered several cases of death and our people are being shot by bow and arrow-wielding people. They always want to evict us from land that we have paid for,” Mushumba said yesterday.
“We have all the permission letters right from local leaders to the District Veterinary Officer’s office and they prove that our time of tenancy has not yet expired.”
Contacted yesterday, the CID Officer in charge of Wadilayi sub-county, David Ocweda, confirmed that indeed Kaloli was killed a few weeks ago by an arrow shot by one of the indigenous people in the area.
“Yes that Mulaalo was shot with an arrow and the people who shot him ran way. We haven’t made any arrests so far but investigations are ongoing,” he said.
Paul Omara, a CID officer in Arua also confirmed that he was aware of the attack on Sebiraza and said that arrests had been made to ascertain who the attackers are.
“Yes he was shot after he resisted people trying to take his cows,” Omara said when contacted yesterday.
Mushumba said that he leads a group of pastoralists in the West Nile with over 1,500 heads of cattle.
Meanwhile, the Uganda’s Daily Monitor recently reported that Nwoya District authorities had also ordered the Balaalo out of the district.