The mediation comes nearly six months after a violent inter-clan clash among Pajong clan members that left 16 people with severe body injuries in rivalry over the land in Lyelukwar village in Pela Parish.
Clerics under the Acholi Religious Leaders peace initiative, have
initiated mediation among Pajong clan members in Omiya Anyima Sub-county in
Kitgum district over ownership of customary land.
The mediation comes nearly six months after a violent inter-clan clash among
Pajong clan members that left 16 people with severe body injuries in a dispute over
the land in Lyelukwar village in Pela Parish.
A retaliatory attack in June left a farmer identified as Justine
Okwir from Pajong clan dead, forcing hundreds of Palwo clan members to flee
their villages in fear of revenge attacks.
Gulu Catholic Archbishop Dr John Baptist Odama who doubles as
ARLPI Vice-Chairperson chairing the mediation told URN in an interview that
they aim at restoring peace among the communities and bringing an end to
Archbishop Odama accompanied by Sheikh Musa Khelil, Acholi Muslim District
Khadi met with a section of the aggrieved clan members from Pajong, Akara and
Palwo at the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner's board room.
//cue in: “We are interested…
Cue out: “… among your selves.”//
Archbishop Odama notes that the greed to own a large chunk of land and desire
to sell land for the quick accumulation of assets such as motorcycles,
especially among the youth, is escalating land conflicts in the sub-region.
He cautioned elders on passing accurate information to young people on land use
and inheritance citing that if not well passed, it will spark off conflicts.
//cue in: “Elders should know…
Cue out:…to somebody.”//
Julius Peter Otto, Omiya Anyima Sub-county LCIII Chairperson says the mediation
is a positive move that will help to restore relationship among the communities
that have been for long rivalling over the land.
He, however, emphasized that both sides should ensure they are honest with the
information they are passing out if he mediation is to make any positive
//cue in:…Iya yom ka…
Cue out:…lok lok ada.”//
He, however, suggested that the ARLPI team should ensure that an
injunction is placed on the utilization of the land until the issues are
resolved, an independent body be fronted to investigate the land matter and
security beefed up for the safety of locals still facing threats.
//cue in: “much as mediation…
Cue out…matek total ni.”//
A total of 22 suspects arrested over the land wrangles in May and June that
resulted in the killing of one person and injuring of 16 others in Lyelukwar in
Pela Parish are currently on remand in Gulu Central Prison on charges of
attempted murder and Murder.
The contentious land in question covers thousands of hectares and was a former
communal hunting ground belonging to the Pajong clan. It, however, became a
center of the dispute in 2017, after some clan members became disgruntled with
the allocation of the land among the sub-clan members of Pajong Pajut, Pajong
Popira, and Pajong Kal.
Three cases of murder linked to the land conflict have been registered in the
districts of Kitgum and Pader between May and October this year. The most
recent was the gruesome murder of 65-year-old Eveline Atoo, a farmer and
resident of Alima East village in Dure Parish, Latanya Sub County in Pader
district who was killed last month.