August 19, 2013 (KAMPALA) - Ugandan soldiers have shot dead one suspected Turkana warrior from Kenya in the semi arid region of north eastern Uganda, an army spokesperson told Sudan Tribune on Monday.
Denis Omara, the 3rd Division spokesperson of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) said the Turkana warriors were six in number, four of them armed with rifles while two were unarmed.
"Our soldiers were patrolling the area when they came into contact with the warriors. The warriors fired at our soldiers and our soldiers responded. There was a shootout which lasted for about 10 minutes. One warrior was killed and a rifle number 0702 recovered from him’’, said the Uganda military spokesperson.
According to the to spokesperson, the incident happened in a remote village on Tuesday last week. The Ugandan military conducts regular patrols in the village as it hosts a Chinese gold mining company.
The dead Turkana has been buried in the district of Moroto, the army spokesperson said, but added that the body will be given back to his relatives in Kenya if they claim it.
The army spokesperson further said that a Kenyan military officer based in Uganda’s Moroto district to handle issues of cross border relations between communities in Uganda and Kenya had been informed about the incident.
North eastern Uganda is occupied by a nomadic tribe called the Karimojong. For many years they were armed and roamed about freely with firearms but about a decade ago, the Ugandan government launched a disarmament campaign.
Remnants of firearms still remain in the area which locals say is meant to protect them from the equally armed and nomadic Pokot and Turkana who live across the border in Kenya.
The two tribes regularly move their cattle into Uganda during dry spells in search for water and pasture.