Rt. Rev. James Nasak, the Church of Uganda Bishop of North Karamoja diocese has appealed to leaders in neighbouring districts to be sympathetic to starving families from Karamoja crossing into their territory in search of food. North Karamoja diocese comprises Kotido, Abim, Kaabong, and Karenga districts.
Bishop Nasak said on Saturday that is very saddening to notice that the leaders in districts neighbouring Karamoja districts in Lango and Acholi have been chasing Karamojong women whenever they cross to their territory in search of food. He cited the recent incident where Otuke district officials evicted hungry Karamojong who crossed to the district from Kotido in search of casual work so as to get food.
Two weeks ago, Otuke district authorities evicted 47 Karamojong women and children from Kotido who had entered the district in search of food. “It’s not their own interest to go out of Karamoja but it’s the current situation, which needs help even from the neighbouring districts,” he said. Rev Nasak noted that at the height of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA activities in Northern Uganda Karamoja also hosted many neighbouring families from Lango and Acholi.
Simon Ngole, a resident of Kacheri Sub County in Kotido district said not every Karamojong is a criminal. ” The problem with our brothers from the neighbouring districts is that they assume that all Karamojong are criminals forgetting that many are peace-loving people,” he said.
Timothy Konyen, another resident said it’s unfortunate that the neighbouring districts don’t love the Karamojong yet they are many none Karamojong working in Karamoja. “When you look at various offices in Karamoja districts, most of them are being occupied by our brothers and sisters who are not Karamojong and they are free. So we also expect our brothers from the neighbouring districts to treat the Karamojong the same way,” he said.
Karamoja region is currently experiencing serious hunger, which has made many families flee to the neighbouring districts, while others have crossed to Kenya where they are registered as refugees in Kakuma camp. Last week, Airtel Uganda donated food relief to 2,000 families mainly in Moroto district.