Mifugo Programme

Mifugo Programme




The problem of livestock theft and commonly referred to as cattle rustling is a serious threat to human security in Eastern Africa. As a result the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and civil society organisations drafted an instrument, the Protocol on the Prevention, Combating and Eradication of Cattle Rustling in Eastern Africa, to address the problem of cattle rustling.




The objectives of the Protocol are to:

a. Prevent, combat and eradicate cattle rustling and related criminal activities in the eastern Africa region
b. Systematically and comprehensively address cattle rustling in the region in order to ensure that its negative social and economic consequences are eradicated and that people`s livelihoods are secured
c. Enhance regional cooperation, joint operations, capacity-building and exchange of information
d. Promote peace, human security and development in the region


The Nairobi Office of the ISS, in partnership with EAPCCO, has established the Mifugo Project to facilitate the implementation process of the Protocol. (The Swahili word for livestock, mifugo, is the preferred terminology in the project, as it encompasses other livestock rustling.)




The purpose is to develop appropriate mechanisms for preventing and eventually eradicating illicit cross-border activities in general and cattle rustling in particular.




The project will initially focus on Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda as the countries most affected by stock theft. It is anticipated that the project could be expanded in future, depending on the availability of funds. Through this joint project, EAPCCO / ISS will undertake a comprehensive implementation plan for the Protocol taking into account the inter-connected roles of various stakeholders in the prevention, combating and eradication of cattle rustling in Eastern Africa. In addition, the partners will develop best practice guidelines to assist state parties in domesticating the necessary national policies and legislation to give effect to the Protocol and to facilitate its implementation in a holistic manner.




The following components are key to the project:

  • Legislative measures
  • Mutual legal assistance
  • Branding and marking of livestock and record keeping
  • Public education and awareness programmes
  • Joint national and regional measures to enhance law enforcement


Pillars of Implementation


  • Pillar 1: Research
  • Pillar 2: Legislative measures
  • Pillar 3: Training
  • Pillar 4: Dissemination of information and community outreach
  • Pillar 5: Regional cooperation, coordination and networking
  • Pillar 6: Establishment of a Documentation and Resource Centre


Summary of Activities


  • Consulting with stakeholders in order to inform and share information
  • Supporting the ratification of the Protocol by engaging with parliamentary committees and civil society, among others
  • Supporting the domestification of the Protocol requirements
  • Developing a regional system on branding and marking of livestock and obtaining regional approval for such a system


Project Management


The project will be implemented by the Nairobi Office of the ISS with the support of EAPCCO (which is also based in Nairobi). In addition, the project will be overseen by a Project Steering Committee which draws its membership from the principal representatives of the implementing states, key stakeholders, regional organisations, and institutions committed to pastoralist-related issues as well as a representative from the donor (Federal Republic of Germany).


About the Partners


The Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) aims at addressing all forms of cross-border crimes. The Interpol Sub-regional Bureau for Eastern Africa serves as the permanent secretariat for EAPCCO. The ISS is a regional think tank with offices in Pretoria, Cape Town, Addis Ababa and Nairobi. The Institute has extensive experience of working with governments and civil society to develop practical and feasible responses to current challenges to human security.




The Mifugo Project is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.