Apaa Clashes: MPs Demand Fresh Demarcation Exercise

2325 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South MP, says the violence escalated after the demarcation exercise. He says although the disputed areas could fall in any of the districts, he says this shouldnt make people leave in disharmony since any Ugandan is entitled to live anywhere.

Members of parliament from Amuru district have called for a fresh demacatting exercise of the disputed Amuru-Adjumani boundary in Apaa, saying the first exercise was marred with irregularities.
 
 
In 2015, Government planted mark stones in Apaa Village in Amuru district as it demarcated the boundaries between the two neighboring districts amidst protests from Amuru residents.

 
They claim that the mark stones were planted 31 kilometers inside Amuru district. More than 21 people were injured when police used live bullets to disperse those opposed to the demarcation exercise. Two youths had their hands amputated after the scuffle.

 
However, the conflicts between the two communities over the boundary haven't stopped. In March this year, armed security men torched over 100 grass thatched huts in the area forcing hundreds of residents to flee.
 

Reports indicate that the displaced persons have moved to the nearby Punu dyang village for seek safety. Lucy Akello, the Amuru Woman MP blames the continuous violence in the area on the failure to respect people's rights to land. According to Akello, Amuru residents were sidelined when the boundaries were being demarcated.
 

She says there is need to conduct a fresh exercise involving all parties.


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Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South MP, says the violence escalated after the demarcation exercise. He says although the disputed areas could fall in any of the districts, he says this shouldn't make people leave in disharmony since any Ugandan is entitled to live anywhere.


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Jessica Ababiku, the Adjumani Woman MP advises the legislators to petition if they want to challenge the government decision. She says there are two pieces of land under contention, one in the reserve and one that is in Adjumani.
 
She sayss Government cannot allow people to settle in the reserve, and those who are in the area should abide by the law.
 
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Recently, President Yoweri Museveni wrote to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah indicating that he would visit the place. According to the Local Government Minister, a study conducted revealed that Apaa is in Adjumani and not Amuru. Reports also indicate thatUganda Wildlife Authority is set to evict over 18,000 residents of Apaa to restore the East Madi game reserve.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.