The Tragedy of Natural Resources Dependent Pastoral Communities: A case of Teso-Karamoja Border Land Conflict

"This research sought to establish the linkages between land scarcity, security and ethnic conflict among the Itesot and the Karimojong in Katakwi- Moroto districts and identify options on how to resolve the conflict. Katakwi district is occupied by the Itesot while Moroto is occupied by the Karimojong. The main objective of the study was to provide a deep analysis of the border land conflict between Katakwi - Moroto districts and establish its implications on peace and security in the region and the country as a whole. The research is premised on the realization that the land question among pastoralists and their livelihood issues have not been given sufficient attention by policy makers. Consequently, pastoralists as an interest group in Uganda have been generally marginalized in development and this has resulted into an escalation of natural resource based conflicts. The research established that the causes of the Katakwi-Moroto border conflict revolve around environmental scarcity and stress, colonial marginalization and the post-colonial containment policy towards the Karimojong people, lack of a clear border demarcation along the Katakwi and Moroto districts and the transhuman nature of the Karimojong. Other causes were identified as politicization of the border issues by politicians seeking political capital during elections; general political instability in Uganda; lack of a national land policy with a clear land conflict management mechanism and the availability of arms in the region which makes people opt for the use of force than peaceful resolution of the conflict. On the basis of these findings, the research makes a number of recommendations for conflict resolution and peacebuilding."