Uganda herdsmen evicted from game reserve

Herdsmen who had been encroaching on a Ugandan game reserve that the queen of England is due to visit in November have started relocating after an ultimatum, wildlife officials said on Monday.

The chief warden of Uganda’s second-largest natural park, named Queen Elizabeth National Park after the British monarch, said that some of the Basongora tribesmen started moving out on Sunday, ending a months-long stand-off.

”By last evening, 60 herdsmen were moving with about 8 000 cows, but the process will take up to two weeks to complete,” said Tom Okello.

The Basongora came under fire for degrading the protected site, posing a health risk through their cattle, and sometimes killing lions and other endangered wildlife.

The authorities had also reportedly grown uneasy about their illegal presence ahead of an expected visit to her eponymous park by Queen Elizabeth II on the sidelines of the upcoming Commonwealth summit.

The 8 000-strong Basongora community living in the park were last week given two weeks to relocate to designated resettlement sites.

Basongora tribesmen were first evicted from the area when the park was founded in 1954, a year after the queen’s coronation.

Many fled to the neighbouring Virunga park in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the troubled nation’s conflicts forced hundreds back into Uganda in recent years.

The biennial Commonwealth heads of government meeting is for the first being held in Uganda and is expected to kick off in November. — Sapa-AFP

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

ConCourt clarifies act for asylum seekers

The apex court has reversed amendments to the act that made it difficult for refugees to apply for asylum while making it easy for Home Affairs officials to unjustly detain and deport them.

After the results, what’s next for matriculants?

Late applicants will have a tough time getting into a university of their choice.

New era of health science for Africa as NantSA launches...

The first locally manufactured Covid-19 vaccine from the new facility, which is based in Cape Town, is expected within the next year

SAA to revive Durban route

The beleaguered national carrier resumed flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town last September after exiting business rescue

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…