In Uganda, the military Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Ojok claimed on Uganda radio on Thursday (13 March) that more than a thousand people were killed last year in tribal raids in the Karamoja district in the north-cast of the country.
GV EXTERIOR Cattle grazing watched by children (3 shots)
LV Village CU AND PAN ALONG houses with no villagers in sight (2 shots)
GV Cooking pots
CU Child in doorway of hut
GV Village centre deserted
GV INTERIOR Hospital ward at Mathani Hospital, adult male ward
SV Nurse dressing stump for man with amputated leg & GV hospital ward with patients (3 shots)
GV Kaabong Mission, people sitting on ground (2 shots)
GV Boy pushing crippled man in wheelchair
GV People waiting with pots for food
SV Food being distributed (2 shots)
SV Orphaned children at house of social worker, eating maize meal (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Uganda, the military Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Ojok claimed on Uganda radio on Thursday (13 March) that more than a thousand people were killed last year in tribal raids in the Karamoja district in the north-cast of the country.
SYNOPSIS: Severe drought, cattle raiders, and the Karamajong tribe themselves have all contributed to crisis in this region. The Karamajong tribe are regarded as backward because they're unwilling to change their ancient ways of raising cattle rather than crops.
The tribal raiding that's always gone on has become worse since former members of the deposed dictator Idi Amin's army turned bandit. So the terrified villagers now take no chances -- they hide away when strangers come, making villages look deserted. When the Manyattas of this village were raided about three months ago, many families fled, and have only recent returned.
During February, officers of the United Nations and World Food Programme toured the Karamonja, assessing the problems. This month, things have become worse, with growing numbers of refugees in camps, and food assigned to them reportedly smuggled out of the country.
Hospitals don't have enough cholera vaccine. At the height of the raids, there were twenty to thirty people a week suffering gunshot wounds, with most victims having limbs amputated. In his radio broadcast on Thursday (13 March), Colonel Ojok said the people's militia in the region would be strengthened and given more arms to protect the population.
In Kampala, the Deputy Community Development Minister, Kefa Sempangi, said the number of refugees, from Karamonja to Soroti in Eastern Uganda, has risen from four thousand to ten thousand, within the last week.
Emergency supplies of basic foodstuffs are being rushed into the area -- mostly maize meal mixed with milk.
The regular diet of the region is sorghum and beans. One problem for those distributing the food, is that the tribesmen reject the maize-milk recipe, saying that milk is children's food. The Uganda Commerce Minister, Ephraim Kamuntu, has been appealing to Ugandans to co-operate in overcoming smuggling, which, he said, is frustrating the Government's efforts to organise the supplies of food and other urgent goods.
There are seventy-six orphan boys, whose parents were killed during cattle raids, living at the district rural training centre. They are shown eating their meal of "posho", maize meal, at the house of a social worker who cares for them.