Farmers in the Eastern Province are raising the alarm over constant clashed pitting them against herders.
According to the farmers, the clash always occur when dry season kicks, opening doors for herders to invade their farms.
“Not only the livestock destroy our crops but also their herders play a part as they dig out our cassava and sweet potatoes,” Evariste Ndorimana, a resident of Kibirizi Cell in Mayange sector of Bugesera district told Rwanda Today.
“My entire cassava farm has been recently destroyed by their livestock while their herds' dugout some cassava trees,” Mr Ndorimana added.
According to the local authorities, in the drive to fight against pastoralists, within the last month of June, two cases were logged into court while several other herders were fined with Rwf300, 000.
However, as the conflict with herders beef up, the farmers are trying every possible means of keeping the herders away from their ranches through by guarding their ranches every day, However, the herders drove in their stock during the earlier and late hours.
On top of destroying their crops, the herders that are armed with batons and machetes regularly assault the farmers and local administration officials trying to tell them off.
“When found their cows grazing on our crops, we requested them to drove them off from our ranches but they immediately started beating us with batons,” said Chantal Uwanyirigira, a resident of Mayange sector.
The bold herders are not only assaulting the farmers and their crops but also the grassroots administrative officials.
Elizafan Rekayabo, the chief of Kabeza village in Rilima sector is the recent victim of the farmers and herders’ clash.