• Short Summary

    AT THE END OF 1963, NEARLY 6,000 REFUGEES AND MORE THAN 10,000 HEAD OF CATTLE CROSSED OVER THE HILLS FROM RWANDA INTO UGANDA.

  • Description


    CATTLE BEING BRANDED AND INOCULATED; CATTLE ON THE MOVE; LAND CLEARANCE PREPARATIONS; NATIONAL PARK; CATTLE WATERING; PASTURE LAND.




    Initials JMC/O-UN/RM/MM



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: AT THE END OF 1963, NEARLY 6,000 REFUGEES AND MORE THAN 10,000 HEAD OF CATTLE CROSSED OVER THE HILLS FROM RWANDA INTO UGANDA. THE INFLUX OF SO MANY CATTLE RAISED GRAZING PROBLEMS, AND FINALLY THE UGANDA GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO MOVE THE CATTLE AND THE TRIBESMEN SOME 250 MILES (400 KILOMETRES) FURTHER INLAND - BEYOND THE QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK INTO THE TORO AREA.

    THE AREA TO WHICH THE CATTLE WERE GOING WAS INFECTED BY THE TSETSE-FLY, SO BEFORE SETTING OUT, ALL THE CATTLE WERE INOCULATED; AND TO PREVENT OWNERSHIP DISPUTES IF ANY CATTLE WERE LOST, ALL WERE ALSO BRANDED.

    THE TREK HAD BEEN CAREFULLY PLANNED SO THAT EACH GROUP OF TRIBESMEN AND CATTLE WOULD WALK ABOUT EIGHT MILES (TWELVE KILOMETRES) A DAY AND FIND WATERING AND RESTING PLACES AT EACH STOP. AT THE END OF EACH DAY, YOUNG BOYS TOOK CARE OF THOSE CALVES WHICH HERE EITHER TOO TIRED OR TOO YOUNG TO GO DOWN TO THE WATER TO DRINK. THE REST OF THE CATTLE WERE LEFT TO GRAZE IN FIELDS THAT HAD BEEN SELECTED IN ADVANCE BY THE ESCORTING VETERINARY SERVICE.

    THE MEN THEN PREPARED SIMPLE MEALS FOR THEMSELVES FROM LOCALLY GATHERED FOOD. THEIR DEPENDANTS DID NOT ACCOMPANY THEM ON THE TREK; THEY HAD BEEN PROVISIONALLY SETTLED WITH OTHER WATUTSI REFUGEES FROM RWANDA IN THE ORAUCHINGA VALLEY.

    MANY PROBLEMS HAD TO BE FACED DURING THE TREK, WHICH WAS RESUMED EACH MORNING AT FIRST LIGHT AND WHICH WENT ON FOR NEARLY A MONTH. NOT THE LEAST OF THE PROBLEMS WAS THE CROSSING OF THE QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK - A GAME RESERVE WITH PROTECTED WILD LIFE. IT WAS FEARED THAT THE PRESENCE OF THOUSANDS OF CATTLE MIGHT EXCITE SOME OF THE WILDER ANIMALS. THE VETERINARY SERVICE WAS ALSO CONCERNED IN CASE DISEASES MIGHT BE BROUGHT INTO THE AREA. ALL REASONABLE PRECAUTIONS WERE TAKEN AND THE TREK THROUGH THE NATIONAL PARK PASSED OFF WITHOUT ANY SERIOUS INCIDENTS.

    MEANWHILE, IN THE TORO AREA THE TREK WAS TO END, THE FIGHT AGAINST THE TSETSE-FLY HAD STARTED. TREES WERE PULLED DOWN IN BELTS OF ONE THOUSAND YARDS WIDE ENCIRCLING THE WHOLE RESETTLEMENT AREA. THIS WAS DONE TO FORM A PROTECTIVE CURTAIN AGAINST ANY FURTHER INVASIONS BY THE TSETSE-FLY, WHICH CANNOT SURVIVE IF IT HAS TO FLY MORE THAN A FEW HUNDRED YARDS WITHOUT FINDING SHELTER FROM THE SUN. THE SECOND STAGE INVOLVED BURNING THE GRASS INSIDE THE AREA TO KILL THE FLIES AND THEIR EGGS.

    THIS CATTLE TREK AND ITS SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION WAS ONE OF THE MORE UNUSUAL RESETTLEMENT OPERATIONS CARRIED OUT BY THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSION FOR REFUGEES. A MEMBER OF THE BRITISH UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION, HELPED BY AN INTERPRETER FOR THE UGANDA GOVERNMENT, DISCUSSED THE ALLOCATION OF LAND WITH HEADS OF FAMILIES AMONG THE REFUGEES.

    TODAY, THE REFUGEES AND THEIR CATTLE - ONLY FIFTEEN OF WHICH DIED DURING THEIR LONG TREK - ARE SETTLED IN THEIR NEW HOME IN THE TORO AREA OF UGANDA.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVADXQTPC3DG5EPLVI0B5DD40ABA
    Media URN:
    VLVADXQTPC3DG5EPLVI0B5DD40ABA
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    19/10/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:50:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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