Uganda: January 5, 2001


The Ugandan government announced that on January 20 it will institute a policy of disarming Karamojon tribe cow herders in eastern Uganda. Some members of the Karamojong have been promoting the massive "gun control" project. The Karamojong (a pastoralist tribe) have a long tradition of cattle raiding. However, the availability of weapons (particularly automatic weapons) have turned the inter-clan cattle raids into small wars. While spears are deadly, assault rifles simply slay too many. One Ugandan government source says that the Karamojong estimate 500 Karamojong have died in cattle raids in the last two years, an unbearable death toll. The huge death toll is directly attributable to automatic weapons. Some Karamojong object to turning in their weapons, saying disarmament will leave them open to cross-border attacks by the Turkana tribe (which lives in Kenya). The Ugandan Army (Ugandan Peoples Defense Forces) has promised to beef up patrols in the area and stop any Turkana incursions.


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