Xavier Sekanabo from the Environmental Police Protection Unit who led the operation said that they have no mercy for the charcoal dealers because they are depleting the environment and indiscriminately destroying the endangered tree species including Afzelia Africana, shea and mahogany among others.
She told URN that she has been in the business for only three months following a connection with a friend and has never cut trees or burnt charcoal but been buying in small scale.
In the past two weeks, the district has registered over 30 covid-19 positive cases from within the community and a few from the Elegu border post. Initially, the district was registering 5 to 10 cases since the beginning of the year.
According to Okema, the trucks were cleared for safe travel to, a day after they called off their strike to protest attacks by gunmen in South Sudan. The latest attack took place along the Yei-Juba route where 8 Ugandan truck drivers were killed.
Jackline Atim, a resident of Lorikor West in Elegu town council says the drivers and residents were freely mixing and interacting without observing the standard operating procedures aimed at fighting the spread of COVID-19 which includes face mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing among others.
Kenneth Opoka the Local Chairperson for Lulai Village says that hundreds of farmers in his area have resorted to small scale farming majorly around their homesteads for fears that they may be attacked while cultivating in distant places.
Geoffrey Oceng Osborn, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner, says two weeks ago, armed South Sudanese shot dead a UPDF officer only identified as Lance Corporal Oketch in a gun fire exchange after they illegally entered Uganda.
Xavier Sekanabo told URN that the dealers who are from as far as Central, Western and Eastern Uganda didn’t any documents authorisation to trade or transport forest species. He disclosed that the suspects are detained in Gulu and Amuru Central Police Stations
Zedi Male, the Vice-chairperson of the Truck Driver’s Association, insists that the attacks are not being perpetrated by rebels as the South Sudanese authorities are claiming but they are being executed by government forces. Male says that the latest attack occurred near a military barracks.
On Wednesday, a delegation from the Ugandan side led by the Mayor Koboko Municipality Wilson Sanya and the Regional Police Commander Aswa Steven Kaija received the bodies at Elegu Border point in Amuru District at 6:30 pm.
The seven are accused of marrying off a sixteen-year-old girl who is a primary six pupil of Oloyotong Primary School to thirty-three-year-old Charles Ojok on Friday evening from Oloyotong Village in Amuru Sub County Amuru district.
According to information obtained by URN, Ojok and his relatives paid dowry and an unspecified amount of money to the teenager’s family in exchange for her hand in marriage. The family of the girl reportedly accepted the request on Friday evening and handed over the girl to Ojok for marriage in accordance with the Acholi culture.
Those arrested include thirty-three year-old Charles Ojok who is the bridegroom and his fifteen-year-old bride who is a primary six pupil at Oloyotong Primary School in Amuru district. The bride cannot be named because she is a minor.
Michael Lakony, the Amuru District Chairman says they revamped the operation on the illegal charcoal business after the perpetrators infiltrated Wii-Ceri Forest Reserve and other areas in Amuru like Lakang, Pogo, Apaa and Okidi.
Peter Odok, the officer in charge of Okidi Health Center II in Atiak Sub County wonders why the government is rushing to vaccinate Ugandans when there is no clear information about the effectiveness of the vaccines. He cites other countries that recently suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines due to the serious side-effects on recipients of the vaccine. Odok says they are very skeptical and demands for more knowledge and assurance before he can take his vaccination.
Michael Lakony the district LCV chairperson says he appointed Akera to that position as reward for the hard work he has been doing to help the district develop. Akera`s appointment was confirmed on Wednesday this week during a full council meeting at the district headquarters.