New Committee Stops Evictions, Settlement in Apaa

1496 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament has said there should be no more movement inside Apaa and Zoka forest for settlement as the committee embarks on investigating the Amuru-Adjumani boundary dispute.

The new committee appointed to look into the Apaa land dispute has stopped further settlement inside Apaa and Zoka forest.


On Monday, President Museveni appointed Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to lead yet another investigation into the contentious Apaa boundary dispute between the Madi and the Acholi in Adjumani and Amuru.


Other members of the committee are General Moses Ali, Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hillary Onek, Lands Minister Betty Amongi and Ephriam Kamuntu the Minister for Wildlife, Tourism and Antiquities and Sam Cheptoris the Minister for Water and Environment.    



The new committee comes at the backdrop of a Government directive to evict over 300 residents of Apaa who are allegedly occupying the East Madi Game reserve.


The Apaa boundary dispute started in 2012 when Adjumani district council gazetted the area as East Madi Game Reserve, a move which was opposed by authorities in Amuru district, who equally claimed rights over the same land.


In a press conference held at Parliament on Tuesday, Oulanyah said they were stopping any on-going evictions in the area and further movement for settlement in Apaa.

Oulanyah asked the community to remain calm as the committee starts works.


 Oulanyah says they will meet the select committee on Apaa that is on the verge of concluding their work to engage with them.



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In 2015, the government forcefully planted mark stones in Apaa Village to demarcate boundaries amidst protests from Amuru residents which led to the injuring of more than 21 people as police used live bullets to disperse them.

In 2017, Minister Tom Butime declared that indeed Apaa was part of Adjumani.


A committee chaired by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and a 8-member team from Acholi and Madi side were formed to investigate the matter in vain.



The Acholi team chaired by Dr Daniel Komakech, a renowned academician from Gulu University settled for degazettement of the disputed area for human settlement while the Madi team, on the other hand, settled for the relocation of the residents.  


Conflicts between the two communities have been continuously 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.  


 

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.