Praise for return of stolen Ugandan cattle herds

A local Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace chapter in Kenya has praised Kenya's initiative to return stolen cattle herds to neighbouring Uganda.

Kenya's Sunday Times reports that the gesture came after a thorough search by security personnel in West Pokot and Trans-Nzoia districts for raided cattle. Raiders believed to be from Wet Pokot District reportedly stole the animals.

A combination of military officers, provincial administration and regular police were involved in the search. West Pokot District Commissioner Stephen Ikua said the animals had been handed over to their Uganda counterparts in an effort to streamline the relations between the communities living along the borders.

A Catholic Justice and Peace Commission-Kapenguria Chapter official praised the Government for the move adding that the return of the animals was a very big initiative by the Kenyan authorities in bringing peace.

For years now the insecure Kenya-Uganda border regions have witness a spate of cattle raids which has resulted in the death of hundreds of people.

Media reports suggest that in March, armed Pokot warriors from western Kenya attacked Sebei region in Kapchorwa district in a raid that left 16 people dead and an unspecified number of cattle raided.

Meanwhile, Kenya has been carrying out a forceful disarmament exercise to mop up illegal firearms among the pastoral communities in the North Rift region.

Some Kenyan MPs claims over 30,000 herders had abandoned their homes and fled to Uganda for fear of being subjected to harsh treatment by the security forces carrying out the disarmament exercise.

End disarmament, say Ministers (Sunday Times 18/6/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Kenya kills Uganda cattle raiders (BBC, 21/7/05)
Cattle raiding in Kenya (Wikipedia)
Pokot (Wikipedia)
Kenya Episcopal Conference
Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops of Kenya on the forthcoming Referendum on the Proposed New Constitution (Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in East Africa - AMECEA)

Uganda: Army Disarms Kenyan Pokot (AllAfrica.com, 19/6/06)
Moroto accuses GSU of harassing herders (Kenya Times, 20/6/06)

21 Jun 2006