Members of Parliament hailing from the West Nile sub region have given Gen. Salim Saleh, the presidential adviser on defense one week to vacate part of the Barifa forest which he reportedly occupied illegally.
Members of Parliament hailing from the West Nile sub region have given Gen. Salim Saleh, the presidential advisor on defense one week to vacate part of the Barifa forest which he reportedly occupied illegally.
This comes after the MPs led by Kassiano Wadri, the chairman of West Nile parliamentary caucus investigated how the land was acquired and discovered that none of the responsible authorities were aware about the occupation of the forest by the army officer. The 400 square meter forest is located in Arua Municipality.
Salim Saleh, a brother to President Yoweri Museveni occupied the said Barifa land late last year during the presidential election campaigns under the guise of coming to pay ex-combatants.
Last week some of the ex-combatants who had hopes of getting their money from the camp asked the MPs from the region to intervene so that the land can be given back to Arua municipality since it is already in the process of de-gazetting the forest for development.
In a press conference addressed by the MPs on Tuesday, they asked Saleh and Arua RDC Ibrahim Abiriga to leave the Barifa forest land or they will mobilize people to evict them.
Benard Atiku, the MP for Ayivu in whose constituency part of the forest belongs says they have given Saleh and his team up to Wednesday next week to leave the forest land because it was occupied illegally.
He was supported by Kassiano Wadri of Terego, who wondered why Saleh and RDC Abiriga wanted to pay former soldiers in a forest when government had several times asked the former soldiers to open bank accounts to get their payments. According to Wadri they will not allow their land to be grabbed under such dubious manner because Arua municipality already has a structural plan on how the land when de-gazetted will be used for development.
But when contacted over the ultimatum given by the MPs, Abiriga said Barifa land belongs to government adding that the MPs have no powers to chase Gen. Saleh from the land. He says the only authority that has powers over Barifa is National Forest Authority because it is still under them.
mps want saleh out from arua forest
general salim saleh