District officials in Nyagatare and Gatsibo in collaboration with security officials Thursday impounded over 600 cattle which were grazing within the precincts of Gabiro military barracks.
The commander of the Gabiro School of Infantry, Brig Gen John Bosco Kazura, explained that the cattle pose a danger to the environment.
“This operation will continue until we stem out this issue that is detrimental to the environment,” he underscored.
The decision to impound the cattle was reached after a series of consultations and warnings to pastoralists, according to Gatsibo district Mayor, Ambrose Ruboneza.
The owners of the cows are expected to pay a fine of Rwf 20,000 for each for their release.
“This fine is a deterrent measure to stop farmers from encroaching on the barracks again.
This movement of cattle across the barracks disrupts military work,” he said.
John Bosco Ngarambe, president of Gatsibo milk collection centre and whose cows were among those seized, admitted to grazing in the prohibited area and vowed never to repeat it.
Over 10,000 cows have reportedly been encroaching into the barracks in recent years.