Leaders from Turkana County and Karamoja region in Uganda will develop a joint agreement aimed at promoting peaceful sharing of cross-border resources.
In a meeting Wednesday chaired by Uganda’s Senior Presidential Advisor on Defence, Gen Salim Saleh, the leaders acknowledged the need for a formal resource-sharing pact to address rising conflicts and ensure the continued grazing of livestock in Uganda by Turkana pastoralists.
The delegation of County Government officials, led by Deputy Governor John Erus, paid a visit to Gen Saleh at the Morulinga State Lodge in Napak District. The officials were joined by a host of Uganda MPs from the Karamoja region.
During the meeting, Gen Saleh, who also chaired the Joint Kenya-Uganda High-Level Security Mission held in Moroto Wednesday, insisted that the agreement would address conflicts between the communities.
He called upon leaders to set aside their political differences and work on the structure of the agreement, which would outline the routes, maps, and modalities of resource sharing. He also encouraged leaders to shift their overreliance on pastoralism as a source of livelihood and explore the economic potential of the region through cross-border trade and exploitation of minerals.
The Deputy Governor expressed his gratitude to the Ugandan government for the Joint High-Level Security Mission and delivered Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai’s message of goodwill and gratitude to President Yoweri Museveni on behalf of Turkana County residents.
“The County Government of Turkana, led by Governor Lomorukai, is dedicated to the peaceful coexistence of cross-border communities in the region. We will work jointly with our Uganda counterparts to develop the agreement, and we will also partner to implement the MoU on peace and development as agreed during the Joint High-Level Security Mission,” he said.
The Deputy Governor further stated that the County Government of Turkana is prepared to begin negotiations with their Karamojong counterparts to draft the agreement. He emphasized that they are committed to maintaining cordial relationships and will collaborate to share resources between their cross-border communities.
The Ugandan legislators expressed their support for the proposed agreement to address rising conflicts caused by the influx of Kenyan pastoralists from West Pokot and Turkana counties into Uganda.
By Peter Gitonga