For decades, Karamoja was Uganda’s most unstable corner: a semi-arid hinterland, the size of Belgium, where guns were plentiful and the state remote. In the early 2000s the Ugandan army brutally but successfully disarmed the cattle-rustling gangs that dominated the region, bringing a measure of peace.
But now the people of Karamoja are grappling with new challenges. Vast areas of land have been enclosed for national parks or earmarked for mineral exploration. Climate change is putting pressure on the pastoral way of life and the traditional systems that govern it. Over the last two years there has been a resurgence in cattle-rustling and the army is pursuing a fresh campaign of forced disarmament.
In Karamoja: a land in flux, Liam Taylor will explore how the people of Karamoja are responding to these pressures. How can local communities benefit from mining? What is causing the spike in cattle-rustling? And how is pastoralism adapting to changes in the economy and the climate?