Eleven people have been arrested for destroying various endangered
tree species in Gulu district.
They were arrested from different camps in Paibona Sub
County on Saturday during an operation against illegal charcoal dealers and
The operation was sanctioned by the Ministry of Water and
Environment in partnership with the National Forestry Authority and the
environmental police led by Xavier Sekanabo.
Some of them include Johnson Ssejemba and Musa Nsubuga who
are said to have been masterminds of logging and charcoal dealings in the area.
They have all been locked up at Gulu Central Police Station
awaiting charges of illegal destruction of forest species as per section 32 of
the National Forestry Act.
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The suspects were found in possession of rudimentary tools
which they reportedly use to indiscriminately cut down trees for charcoal and
Xavier Sekanabo who led the operation told URN that some of
the suspects fled from their different areas of operation when they learnt of
the operation from informers.
He disclosed that the week-long operation is being conducted
in Acholi and Lango Sub Regions as well as parts of Soroti district.
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The team also destroyed the dealers` camps and hundreds of
charcoal bags and heaps of logs cut from the different endangered tree species including
shea tree, Mvule and mahogany among others from the different areas.
Jimmy Ouna, the NFA Manager Aswa River Range composing Acholi
and Lango said that the magnitude of tree destruction in the region is
He appealed for mass sensitization of the public
against indiscriminately destroying natural trees on large scale and the need
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out: …is one thing.’’//Richard Watmon, the Paibona Sub County Chairperson said that they have been struggling to contain the illicit business in the area due to lack of manpower to effect arrest.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc