Fourth Infantry Division commander Brig. Michael Kabango told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that some security personnel are encouraging the influx of locals inside the gazeted Zoka Central Forest Reserve and East Madi Wildlife Reserve.
The protest walk comes just a week after four people were killed and four others critically injured by unknown armed assailants in a renewed attack on the disputed land claimed by both Amuru and Adjumani districts.
‘’Even this Apaa thing, we have already drafted an instrument under the attorney general`s chambers. The Chief Justice was consulted and the names of members of the commission of inquiry are already there. I believe the President will sign that instrument soon, said Mao.
Onek Atunya Javis, 82, an elder in the area, says that the government's decision is wrong and will affect the growth and development of the area. He maintains that Apaa Township is Acholi`s ancestral land and has neither been a game reserve nor a forest reserve.
Brig. Bamwiseki says the government has already taken steps in ensuring that the disputes that have since culminated into violence between the communities in Amuru and Adjumani districts are put to a permanent end.
Akol says that on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th of June this year, a group of armed arsonists stormed the area, assaulted and injured twenty-seven people, burnt down 300 huts, and looted several household items, livestock, and poultry noting that it would keep them in abject poverty.
The group led by Anthony Akol, the Kilak North Legislator and Chairperson Acholi Parliamentary Group-APG had intended to visit areas in Apaa that were reportedly attacked early this week by unknown men suspected to be from Adjumani district.
At least seven people sustained severe injuries and more than 200 grass thatched huts were razed down in Paka Paka, and Oyanga villages following fresh attacks by armed men suspected to have crossed from Adjumani District.
Binya had gone to meet the leaders of Oyanga Sub-village in Apaa Township in Oyanga Sub-village to negotiate for the purchase of chunks of land and fund the construction of roads in the area to facilitate development.
Brutal skirmishes over the land however intensified in October 2017, after the then Local Government Minister Tom Butime, annexed the land from Pabbo Sub-county in Amuru District and officially handed it to Adjumani District Local government.
A section of Members of Parliament and Acholi leaders including former Presidential Candidate Norbert Mao had said that the long-standing Apaa conflicts which are being meted on the community require local means to end it. Among the suggestions was retaliation and staging nude protests to call for immediate intervention from the government and rights bodies.
Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of Parliament proposed that the solution to the armed conflicts and violence being meted on the Acholi community in Apaa can best be solved through violence and another nude protest.
The fourth division army spokesperson, Lt. Kato Ahmad Hassan says that suspects were arrested from Aliwara Village in Itirikwa Sub County Adjumani district as they tried to chase people from their land in Zoka Village in Zoka Parish, Itirikwa Sb County.
Anthony Ocaya, the Apaa Township LC II Chairperson told URN that a scuffle ensued after security rejected the demands by traders prompting residents to pelt them with stones claiming that they were segregating between the Acholis and Madi.
The directive is contained in a communication from the Office of the Prime Minister under the Reference ADM/186/01: cabinet resolution on Apaa to Adjumani district local government dated March 28th, 2019. It directs Adjumani district local government to relocate the market to another site to protect wildlife in disputed East Madi Wildlife Reserve.