Amuru Demands UGX 20b from UWA

2239 Views Amuru, Ethiopia

In short
Over 700 families of Apaa and Lakang villages in Amuru are threatening to sue Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA and the Attorney General for compensation following the destruction of their property in a raid by UWA rangers on their villages.

Over 700 families of Apaa and Lakang villages in Amuru are threatening to sue Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA and the Attorney General for compensation following the destruction of their property in a raid by UWA rangers on their villages.
They are demanding shillings 20 billion in compensation for the loss of their property.


The residents have already issued a legal notice through Okello Oryem and Company advocates expressing their intention to sue the attorney general and UWA.  In their notice, the residents accuse UWA rangers of destroying their huts, household property including livestock, poultry and crop gardens.
 
 
Gilbert Oulanya, Kilak MP accuses government of resorting to raids and harassment of the residents to seize their land that he says measures about 800 square miles. He says the raid on the villages has caused fear amongst the residents for losing their lives, property and land.
 
Oulanya has vowed to stick with his electorate to the end to ensure that government does not take over their land, adding that they have the Attorney General 45 days to respond to their legal notice or else their drag government to court.
 
//Cue in: “The communities were so much scared…”
 Cue out: “…we don’t like their approach.”//
 

 
Thomas Tobina an official with Pabbo development association says that residents are afraid of fresh attacks by UWA ranger. Christopher Odongkara, the area LC5 councilor says despite the fact that government insists that two villages’ falls under a game reserve; there is not documentary evidence to prove the claims.
 
 
 He insists that land in question was occupied by their ancestors over several decades. Andrew Seguya, UWA executive director says that he has not yet received the notice from the residents adding that, the step taken by residents shows that they are no longer interested in dialogue that was initiated by the tourism minister.
 
 
In May, a team from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugess and United Nations Human Rights visited the area and issued a report saying that they had retrieved a document indicating that Uganda Wildlife Authority had entered into a concessionary agreement with Lake Albert Safaris to develop the disputed land. The report recommended that the Office of the Prime Minister institutes immediate investigations into the matter.