The Compass Edge

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  • Karamojong cattle

    Posted by Brian Jones

    24 August 2004 – herdtrans (50k image)

    Karamoja is an area in north east Uganda, known for its fiercely independent agro-pastoral population called the Karamojong. The Karamojong give huge value to cattle and move them from pasture and water sources throughout the year. The photo shows a group of cattle being moved through the town of Kaabong and you can note that the warriors attending the cattle are all heavily armed.

    Cattle raiding is a constant feature of the area and it fulfills a natural need for cattle amongst the Karamojong and neighbouring tribes such as the Turkana. However, it also tends to occur during episodes of drought as 'unusual' seasonal movement often brings groups into direct competion over important pasture and water resources.

    There have been a series of quite serious raids and loss of life in the past few days here and the town of Kaabong errupted hours after our team had left it as a result of the killing of some warriors by one of the local government defense units. This resulted in the looting of the police station by warriors and the indescriminate shooting of anyone dressed in the green fatigues associated with the defense force. The situation is now considered to be calm but illustrates the fragile nature of the security situation.

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