Turkana County is ready to pay the compensation demanded by Uganda, as reparation for five Ugandans killed in 2022, Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has said.
This is part of demands made by President Yoweri Museveni, in an Executive Order released in May this year giving conditions for the release of Turkana herders jailed in Uganda and the return of Turkana pastoralists to the country.
Governor Lomorukai has announced that the county was working to find resources to procure livestock which will be used as “blood settlement” demanded by President Museveni.
This is a traditional form of resolution of the conflict which resulted from the murder of three geologists and two UPDF soldiers in Karamoja in March 2022 by unknown people. Uganda authorities later arrested a number of Turkana herders who were then court-martialed and jailed.
“President Museveni has asked that we pay compensation for the Ugandans who were killed. We are engaging to find funds to purchase heads of cattle to pay the compensation,” he said.
Speaking in Urum yesterday, the Governor insisted that talks to resolve the conflict with Uganda must involve the Turkana County leadership, the County Government, and representatives of the National Government.
He stated that Turkana leaders had sought the help of President William Ruto to secure the release of the jailed Turkana herders and the President had assured that talks were ongoing between the two governments.
He announced that seven herders from the 42 jailed in Uganda would be released soon after the authorities found that they were juveniles.
Speaker Christopher Nakuleu announced that ongoing talks between the governments of Kenya and Uganda were a result of an appeal by Turkana leaders to President Ruto and expressed optimism that the matter will be resolved to allow pastoralists to return to Uganda for pasture.
He said leaders allied to the ruling UDA party had united to support Governor Lomorukai in delivering his mandate as county chief and rallied residents to back the agenda for unity.
The leaders were attending the burial of Lowoi Limang’ole Tioko in Urum.
The Governor was accompanied by County First Lady Lillian Ekamais, Senior County Government officials including CECMs Dr Michael Eregae (Finance) and James Wangiros (Public Service); Chief Officers Etelej Korea (Education and Social Protection), Mark Achilla (Roads), Peter Lomorukai (Preventive and Promotive Health) and Janerose Tioko (Agriculture); Political Advisor Malachy Ekal among others.
Other leaders present included MCAs, Leader of Majority Stephen Edukon (Turkwel), Lawrence Lopayo (Lokiriama/Lorengippi), Amojong Mark (Loima), and Patrick Esekon (nominated).