By Candia Stephen
Arua-The minister of state for internal affairs has directed that all illegally armed Balaalo cattle keepers be arrested.
Obiga Mario Kania’s directive follows complaints raised by the MPs and local government leaders in West Nile over the uncontrolled influx of the balaalo and the threats they issue to locals whenever they resolve to evict them.
Balaalo cattle in Obongi County in Moyo district
“If you get any armed balaalo threatening the lives of the local people in your area, inform me by telephone or forward them to the police. We have directed all the DPCs and RPCs to help us in this matter,” Kania said.
Kania however castigated some of the locals who make private deals with the balaalo in exchange for money and yet they leave the problems on community members.
Some of the police and UPDF soldiers protecting the Balaalo in Obongi county as they move on with land grabbing activities.
The balaalo have been accused of grazing their animals into people’s gardens, hence threatening food security. Some of them like in Obongi County, have been evicted following continuous disagreement with the locals.
The MP Obongi County MP, Hassan Kaps Fungaroo, revealed that several of the armed balaalo had been arrested and handed over to the police but they have continued to enjoy the army support and walked free while some of them have on several occasions been spotted in army attire in the bushes.
Some of the Balaalos with their cattle in Obongi.
The leaders accused the balaalo of using wrong means to enter the region, causing food insecurity due to the destruction caused by their animals to crops, causing hatred among the locals through propaganda among other dubious ways.
Kiza Winnie the leader of opposition in parliament challenged the government to establish the root cause of the Balaalo movements in the country and urged it to find out why the cattle keepers are wondering from place to another and causing insecurity in the country.