OVER 4,000 Toposa warriors from southern Sudan have re-entered Kidepo National Park, writes Gerald Tenywa.
â€œThe Toposa warriors are back in Kidepo,â€™â€™ said Lillian Nsubuga, the spokesperson of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). â€œWe are still consulting with the UPDF on how to handle them.â€
Nsubuga said the group, with about 10,000 head of cattle, is camped at Wapet and Pirre near the Uganda-Kenya border.
This comes six months after they were evicted from the park. â€œThe warriors come in large numbers and they cannot easily be stopped,â€™â€™ revealed a source within UWA.
Their return threatens the recovery of tourism in the park. UWAâ€™s concern is that the livestock competes with the wild animals for pasture and that the predator species like lions and leopards get killed by pastoralists.
â€œIt is a big challenge because the park is home to carnivores like the lions that will keep on eating their livestock,â€™â€™ she said.
Kidepo is a prime tourist destination described as wind-swept and beautiful by tourists.
Nsubuga said Kidepo is the only park with ostriches and the endangered cheetahs in Uganda. Sources within UWA said fresh incursions will disorganise wildlife management and the Karimajong warriors nearby.
Warriors invade Kidepo Park