Gov't Accused of Neglecting Displaced Apaa Residents

1251 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The Acholi team that was set up to investigate the Apaa boundary dispute between the Amuru and Adjumani residents has said the Government neglected Apaa evictees despite their suffering.

The Acholi team that was set up to investigate the Apaa boundary dispute has accused the Government of neglected the displaced Apaa residents.

Over 300 residents of Apaa village, Pabbo Sub County have been displaced due to the boundary dispute.

 

The communities have been disputing over land, which is estimated to be 40 square miles.

  In 2015, government forcefully planted mark stones in Apaa Village, in the Amuru-Adjumani districts to demarcate boundaries amidst protests from Amuru residents.

More than 21 people were injured when police used live bullets to disperse those opposed to the demarcation exercise. 

However, the conflicts between the two communities have been continuous characterized by attacks of the occupants with machetes and arrows, torching of grass thatched houses, something that has led to the displacement of hundreds of residents of the area.

   Government says that the land in question is part of East Madi wildlife reserve.

As a result, Government set up an eight-member committee from both the Adjumani and Amuru districts led by the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to investigate the matter.

  Now appearing before the Parliamentary select committee on Apaa, Daniel Kidega, the Vice-chairperson of the Acholi team noted that Government has failed to protect the people affected.     

Kidega says both the madi and Acholi side had initially agreed to restore order in Apaa with people's grass thatched houses being torched daily, people beaten and shot with bows and arrows under the watch security.     

He also faulted Government for failing to compensate the affected persons despite President Museveni's pledge.       

Kidega also said the humanitarian support to the affected people was so lukewarm. 


  //Cue in: "The first and...

Cue out:...even re brand graves"//

He also says the proposal to degazette about 25 square kilometres for the affected residents to settle in does not hold, as that is not sustainable.  

  Gladys Oyat, also a member of the Acholi team says that the affected people feel victimized and are suffering double tragedy as they had just returned from the war. She says that several Government institutions like hospitals and schools clearly indicate the dispute area is in Acholi.  


//Cue in: "These are people...

Cue out:... taken into consideration"//

Christopher Ojera, the Local Councilor 1 of Pabbo, a resident of the area told the committee that whereas it could be true that some part of the land was in Adjumani, it doesn't stop people from living together. Ojera says UWA was to blame for the evictions.


//Cue in: "Not until in...

Cue out: ...Pabbo Sub county headquarters"//   

Committee chairperson Agnes Amede told the members that they will do their best to present the adequate report and solution before the house.

 

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.