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Kitgum Land Row: Over 40 Huts Set Ablaze In Revenge Attack

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A security officer, who spoke to Uganda Radio Network on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said the Friday attack seemingly stems from Okwi’s killing.
A woman stands infront of her burnt hut in Acholi Ber Village Apaa Parish on 14 February 2018. Photo by Julius Ocungi
More than 40 grass thatched huts have been torched in what is believed to be a revenge attack by members of Pajong clan in Omiya Anyima Sub County in Kitgum District. The attack occurred in Latuturu Odongloo village in Pela Parish in the wee hours of Friday morning. 

It comes nearly a week after Justine Okwi, a local farmer from Pajong clan was killed in Odongloo village by suspected clan mates backed by Palwo clan members. Okwi's body bearing multiple knife wounds was discovered buried in a shallow grave in Latuturu village on Tuesday, two days after he went missing. 

A security officer, who spoke to Uganda Radio Network on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said the Friday attack seemingly stems from Okwi’s killing. He notes that the attackers targeted areas predominantly inhabited by Palwo clan members where their son was attacked and killed. 

“I visited the scene and counted about 43 huts that have been torched, several acres of cassava and maize gardens belonging to Kanyiceg clan have also been destroyed. We condemn these attacks,” he said. Tension over the land measuring more than 3,000 hectares in Alima has lasted for about a year pitting Pajong clan members against a section of their own clan mates. 

Until recently, the dispute has sucked in Palwo clan members who are backing some of the disgruntled Pajong member’s bids to regain ownership of the land. Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, William Komakech says security took over investigations into the land dispute, adding that all parties responsible for orchestrating and participating in attacks will face the law. 

He notes that already a number of suspects from both Pajong and Palwo clans have been apprehended and detained at Kitgum Central Police station.