The dispute started in 2012 when the Adjumani district council gazetted the area as East Madi Game Reserve, a move which was opposed by authorities in Amuru district, who equally claimed rights over the same land. It has taken twists and turns over the years, resulting in loss of lives and property.
Members of Parliament from
Adjumani district have asked the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah to
relinquish the leadership of a new committee probing the Apaa land dispute.
The dispute started in 2012 when
the Adjumani district council gazetted the area as East Madi Game Reserve, a
move which was opposed by authorities in Amuru district, who equally claimed
rights over the same land. It has taken twists and turns over the years,
resulting in loss of lives and property.
Recently, the government
announced that it had taken a decision to evict all settlers from the game
reserve, a decision which would favour the Madi community that had earlier on
asked the government to resettle all persons occupying the land in question.
The Acholi Community was rooting for the degazettement of the disputed area for
But in another move to resolve
the conflict, President Yoweri Museveni appointed Oulanyah to head a new
committee on the contested Adjumani-Amuru boundary. On the same committee is Prime Minister Dr
Ruhakana Rugunda as Vice Person and Second Deputy Premier Gen Moses Ali,
Ministers Betty Amongi, Hillary Onek, Ephraim Kamuntu, and Sam Cheptoris as
However, area legislators have labelled
Oulanyah biased in the conflict that pits the Madi Community of Adjumani
against the Acholi community from Amuru. Oulanyah, the Member of Parliament for
Omoro County, belongs to the Acholi Community.
Adjumani woman MP Jessica Ababiku
says Oulanyah is not neutral and, as such, does not have the moral authority to
lead the committee.
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Adjumani East MP Mark Angel Dullu
equally demanded that the president sticks to decisions of the initial
mediation team led by Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, which agreed that all people be
evicted from the game reserve and resettled elsewhere.
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Oulanyah says he does
not serve any interest except that of the affected people adding that he cannot
individually direct the committee to a position that has not been agreed upon.
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Oulanyah adds that he would leave
the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to chair the discussions on Apaa if they come before
parliament to avoid any issues as the chairperson of the investigating
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Conflicts between the two communities have been continuously
characterized by attacks of the occupants with machetes and arrows, torching of
grass thatched houses and the displacement of residents.