• Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

UGANDA, Apaa | Real Muloodi News | Several Madi Political and Cultural leaders have opposed many of the President’s directives that intend to end the long-lasting Apaa land conflict. Two weeks ago, the President met with Acholi local leaders in the State House to discuss the most recent burst of conflict in Apaa land.

In late July, attackers armed with bows, arrows, and machetes ambushed locals living in Apaa and left 63 people injured. Authorities arrested 48 suspects. Shortly after, the Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG) chairman, Mr Anthony Akol, gave the central government an ultimatum saying they “would mobilise the Acholi people to avenge the attacks” in one week, which led to the meeting at the State House.

The following leaders were in attendance: Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo, Hon. Hillary Onek, Hon. Judith Achan, Rt.Hon Richard Todwong, Hon. Beatrice Atim Anywar, Gen. Charles Otema Awany, Hon. Akol Anthony, Hon. Ojara Mapenduzi, and chairperson Lakony Michael.

The disputed Apaa land is located on the border, between Adjumani and Amuru districts. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) insists that the land is part of the East Madi Wildlife Reserve. However, the residents and leadership of Adjumani and Amuru districts disagree, each claiming the land as their own. 

“What sparked the misunderstanding was a stretch of land in Lulai which the two communities are claiming ownership. Right now, the situation is under control. We have deployed security on ground to avoid further attacks between the two communities,” said Mr Peter Taban Data, the Adjumani Resident District Commissioner.

The President has since directed a special judicial commission of inquiry led by a senior judge to examine the maps in question and develop a viable solution. 

Additionally, the President also tasked Beatrice Anwar, State Minister for Environment, to use a satellite report showing the eastern part of Zoka Forest to establish human settlement areas before the area was gazetted as a conservation in 2002. 

The President will consult the Prime Minister to grant Apaa ‘sub-county status.’ Therefore, health centres and schools will be reopened and funded by the central government.

However, the Madi leadership of Adjumani is in opposition, and they warn that these decisions will “spark more tension among the Madi and the Acholi people living in the area.” They insist that because they were not involved in the meeting, the decisions are “null and void.” Additionally, they argue that all the district leaders must consent before they decide to gazette the area. 

Mr Ben Anyama, the district chairperson, said, “We reject and disagree with the decision by the Acholi leaders and the President. 

Anyama further stated that the State Minister for Environment, Ms Beatrice Anywar, led a team to investigate the history of settlement and clashes in Apaa.

Mr Anyama asserts, “Ms Anywar is an Acholi and will not be neutral and impartial.”

He also said, “we request the President to send a neutral team, not from the Madi side, not the Acholi side, people from other clans or other tribes to verify what is in Apaa.”

The clan chief of Pakele, Mr Simon Suru Baru, said, “we are all stakeholders and if a complete solution has to be reached, the government should not engage Acholi leaders only since it makes us think otherwise.”

Human Right’s Watch has called on President Museveni to commit to end all forced evictions in Apaa, and establish a process that is consultative and meaningfully involves the community. They urge authorities to respect and uphold the rights of community members, including the right to property, and be guided by national and international laws on compulsory acquisition of land and fair compensation.

Call 0 800 100 004 to report cases of illegal Land evictions, discrimination based on gender, incidents of corruption and bribery; delayed land transactions, general poor service delivery and absenteeism within the Lands Ministry.


Finally, President Museveni and the Kabaka of Buganda Speak the Same Language

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